Social Employment Fund

Social Employment




As part of Government’s broader economic recovery agenda, the Presidential Employment Stimulus seeks to use direct public investment to support employment opportunities, counteracting job losses due to Covid-19, and creating an opportunity for growth and renewal.


The stimulus package now includes social employment, as part of its portfolio of interventions to create jobs and support livelihoods.


Closing Date: 16 January 2023

The Industrial Development Corporation invites relevant organisations that are interested in participating in the Social Employment Fund to submit bid proposals aligned to the requirements contained in the Terms of Reference.












Briefing Sessions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duration of the period for contracts between IDC and Strategic Implementing Partners (SIPs)?

At present, the funding allocation for the Social Employment Fund (SEF) allows for a 10-month engagement where participants are able to accumulate 80 days of meaningful work. This duration may increase based on the further availability of funding.


What is the difference between SIPs and Participants?

SIPs are applicants to the Social Employment Fund who wish to implement a Project in the social economy that creates social value and generates employment. Participants are workers hired by SIPs as part of these Projects.


What is a Worksite

A worksite is any location at which participants are undertaking work.


Who is eligible to be a Strategic Implementing Partner (SIPs)?

Any non-state organisation with a legally recognised form of registration is eligible. This includes for-profit companies, but they will face a higher level of scrutiny to ensure that the work undertaken serves the common good and that no part of the funding accrues to profits. The SIPs do not have to be non-profit organisations or civil society organisations – social enterprises registered as co-ops are also welcome to apply.


Who is an eligible Participant in the programme, what are the criteria?

Refer to definition within the Terms of Reference.


How many participants can be employed by a SIP per bid?

A bid needs to be for a minimum of 1000 participants, with the proposed participation target reached within the first quarter of implementation. This can be implemented by a number of organisations who come together in one bid, but a Strategic Implementing Partner is needed for contracting purposes. There is no set maximum participants per bid, but take into account that the SEF budget allows for a total of 50,000 job opportunities nationally, and while there is no regional quota, The SEF will aim to ensure coverage in different regional contexts


Can people who receive SASSA or other state grants participate?

People receiving the Child Support Grant can participate. However, people receiving the Social Relief of Distress Grant (‘the R350’) would become ineligible for that grant for the duration of their employment. People receiving the Old Age Pension or NSFAS are also ineligible.


Why is the work part-time, and not full time?

Part-time work enables more people to participate on the programme within the same budget. Studies also show that a longer duration of part-time work has certain benefits relative to a short-term period of full-time work, when that is the choice. This is explained further in the Terms of Reference.


What is the wage rate?

Each participant will be paid at the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage. Allowances are made for hourly rates above the National Minimum Wage for technical and supervisory staff.


SEF provides an average of 2 days of work per week, can other days be cross-funded / co-financed by other organizations and companies to create a full week of work?

Yes, where this comes from donors or private companies. Unfortunately, the balance of days cannot be made up with another public employment programme like EPWP or CWP.  This is specifically excluded as part of the terms of SEF funding.


Is it possible to work a few hours per day across the week, instead of 2 full days a week?

Preference is for 2 full days or four half days per week per month which is repetitive. Where there is a strong argument for the work to be scheduled in an alternate fashion to best serve the needs of the community, this will be considered. Work must however average to 16 hours a week across the month.


Who is the employer of participants?

The SIP is the employer of participants. This will be by agreement within the parties to the bid.  The employer will recruit, hire and – if necessary – fire participants, within the normal framework of labour legislation.


Who will pay UIF, SDL and COIDA (if applicable)?

The employer will be resonsible to register and pay UIF, SDL and COIDA. An allowance will be allocated from the SEF for this payment and SIPs must include the estimated amount on their application.


What about participants who are not banked?

The SIPs will need to assist unbanked participants to become banked. All payments will be through bank accounts. No cash payments are to be made.


How often are wages paid?

Wages are paid monthly. The IDC will pay the participants directly. SIPs are responsible for ensuring that time and attendance, wage rates and payroll data is accurate.


Can participants be paid while they are on training?

Yes, where the training is relevant to the work to be performed.


Who determines the type of work done by SEF participants?

The Strategic Implementing Partner (SIPs) will specify the work to be undertaken in their proposal. It must be ‘work for the common good’ as explained in the Terms of Reference.


Must the work be in one of the listed sectors?

The listed sectors are intended as a guideline to stimulate ideas. They are not intended to limit the options as long as the work is ‘for the common good’. The work undertaken can also be multi-sectoral. For example, in a given community, it might include food gardens, community kitchens and Early Childhood Development as part of an integrated strategy on child nutrition. Alternatively, the focus may be on one sector. The proposal might be to support victims of gender-based violence in small towns nationally.


Can organisations form partnerships or consortia?

Partnerships and consortia are encouraged. These might be within sectors or local areas. This can allow for the participation of organisations that would not be able to meet the compliance requirements on their own. These might be at local level, but a national consortium with regional and local partners could also submit a national application.   These partnerships must be governed by appropriate SLAs and MOUs.


How can the 20% non-wage budget be spent by SIPs?

Within reason, the spending of the 20% budget is at the discretion of the programme needs and organizations responsible for implementation, with this motivated as part of the application. This budget is categorised as follows:

  • Inventory comprising Tools (implements required to complete the programme such as spades), Materials (consumables such as seedlings, paint) and PPE (protective material)
  • Services comprising Technical services and Training
  • Programme Management
  • Other being spend not easily allocated into the above categories. This could include spend on a digital application which contributes directly to the programme. Details will need to be provided where the SIP includes amounts budgeted as “Other”


How will this 20% non-wage budget be monitored by the IDC?

SIPs will be required to account for the 20% non-wage budget using the following workflow:

  • SIPs are expected to maintain their own financial records as well as have a robust accounting system in place.
  • SIPs must upload balances of actual spend per the above non-wage allocation on the Payment and Reporting Solution on a monthly basis at minimum


What is included in ‘programme management’?

These are the costs of managing the programme. They typically include inter alia costs of transport, IT costs and a contribution to overheads. In the bid process, applicants should specify what programme management costs will cover. It is a condition of funding that applicants are ‘going concerns’ as organisations and while the SEF expects to contribute to overhead costs that might arise as a result of the programme, it does not expect to cover the full overhead costs of organisations.


What if the SIPs applicant is also implementing a programme like CWP?

If there is a clear distinction between the programmes and no overlap of participants or funding, then this is allowable. It would be important to flag this in the application process, however, for transparency purposes and to enable agreement on the ‘rules of the game’ in such an instance.


Can one SIPs applicant apply for multiple programmes at the same time within the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package?

Yes, however, there cannot be duplication in implementation. If for example an organisation submitted bids to Youth Service and to SEF for the same programme, and was successful in each, the organisation would have to choose. The programmes within the Presidential Employment Stimulus will ensure no ‘double-dipping’ in this regard.


What measures are in place for preventing fraud and corruption within implementation, monitoring and evaluation?

The first line of defence in this regard is within the SIPs, which is expected to have systems in place that ensure effective reporting and accountability for the funding allocated and to ensure that processes of recruitment are fair and transparent, without nepotism or patronage. The SEF Payment & Reporting Solution will also ensure accountability and verification of claims submitted. The central payments mechanism limits the risks of diversion of the funding for wages.


How much of the budget can be used by SIPs for training?

SIPs need to build the costs of training into the 20% of the budget that is for non-wage costs. This does not easily allow for extensive, formal training. The focus in the programme is on ensuring that participants are capacitated to undertake the work at hand – and that the work itself provides meaningful work experience. This capacitation can include formal training, but it can also include on the job training. Partly, this is the rationale for including more skilled workers in the budget, because work teams that include more skilled workers can enable skills transfer. The budget for technical services can also be used to support capacitation. For example, an organisation might employ an agriculturalist whose role is to provide in-house capacitation and training.


How will Impact be measured?

Impact indicators are included in the TORs. As part of an application, SIPs need to consider how they will collect relevant data and report against these indicators. In addition, the IDC will be initiating impact-evaluation research to address various dimensions of impact, designed in consultation with SIPs and with an expectation of collaboration and support to such research, including access to participants and/or work-sites. The costs of such research will be carried by the IDC. SIPs will be expected to support and enable a digital entry, mid-term and exit survey of participants that will be developed and administered by the IDC, as part of measuring psycho-social impacts of the programme.


What are the reporting expectations of the SIPs?

  • Uploading and verifying participant performance information
  • Reporting on main work outputs undertaken, per worksite, against the project plan
  • Reporting of expenditure of non-wage components of the budget against the agreed budget categories


What is the adjudication process?

An account manager within the IDC will be responsible for reviewing applications and interrogating the application against the SEF TOR guidelines. If further information is required, this account manager will contact the applicant directly. Once satisfied with the compliance of an applicant, the account manager will submit the application pack to an IDC Adjudication Panel for discussion and approval. Successful SIPs will be provided with legal contracts to close.


Must the SIPs have audited financials?

SIPs are required to submit audited financials.

Application Forms




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