Creating 1500 jobs

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About 1500 jobs will be created and 4500 supported in the next year through the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), which identifies and supports black businesses, its chairman said yesterday.

Presenting the fund's third annual report to parliament, chairman Ronnie Ntuli said: "Three thousand five hundred applications [for funding] were processed during the year with an expected 1500 jobs to be created and another 4500 jobs supported."

He added that almost R1billion of deals were in the pipeline.

"Seventy-seven worth R492million were approved for funding and 63 of these had received financing totalling R277million."

NEF chief executive Philisiwe Buthelezi said in the 2005/06 year under review the NEF had invested about R252million in companies in the construction, media, tourism, entertainment, food and agri-processing industries.

She said the NEF supported all stages of black business development. - Sapa