EPWP re­sponds to so­ci­etal chal­lenges

Vuk'uzenzele - - General -

The EX­PANDED Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme (EPWP) is tack­ling poverty and un­der­de­vel­op­ment in our com­mu­ni­ties by cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for skills trans­fer and the de­liv­ery of pub­lic as­sets and ser­vices.

The EPWP is play­ing a role in al­le­vi­at­ing poverty by pro­vid­ing work and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for poor and un­skilled South Africans.

Since 2014 the EPWP has cre­ated 2 343 147 work op­por­tu­ni­ties through­out the coun­try. Most of those who ben­e­fit are com­mu­nity mem­bers who oth­er­wise would not have had any chance of en­ter­ing the for­mal world of work be­cause they are un­skilled and/ or have never worked be­fore.

Think about the peo­ple who fell by the way­side as you pro­gressed from Grade R to Grade 12 and later ter­tiary level. Where did those peo­ple end up? Many of them end up in the tem­po­rary em­ploy of the EPWP, where they gain the skills needed to en­ter the for­mal job mar­ket.

Re­ward­ing hard work

Once in the EPWP, par­tic­i­pants re­ceive train­ing in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties such as gar­den­ing, se­cu­rity, com­mu­nity care giv­ing, and fire­fight­ing, or learn to be ba­sic phar­macy as­sis­tants or ar­ti­sans.

We have many good sto­ries in the EPWP where a par­tic­i­pant en­ters the Pro­gramme as a cleaner, gar­dener or work­ing as a vol­un­teer care­giver and even­tu­ally be­comes a skilled and qual­i­fied ar­ti­san, fire­fighter and/or even a small busi­ness owner who pro­vides jobs to our peo­ple.

Con­tribut­ing to change

The depart­ment says: “never un­der­mine and/or un­der­es­ti­mate the EPWP and the … de­vel­op­men­tal role it plays in the bet­ter­ment of the lives of our peo­ple”.

The de­vel­op­men­tal role that the depart­ment refers to re­lates to the com­mu­nity as­sets and ser­vices de­liv­ered through the Pro­gramme. As­sets are things such as dams, roads, com­mu­nity re­cre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, schools and hos­pi­tals that are con­structed and main­tained us­ing the EPWP’s labour-in­ten­sive meth­ods.

Some of the com­mu­nity ser­vices ren­dered through the EPWP in­clude par­tic­i­pants car­ing for thou­sands of se­nior cit­i­zens as well as for hun­dreds of thou­sands of chil­dren .

In the Mbashe Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the Eastern Cape, com­mu­nity mem­bers – EPWP par­tic­i­pants – took part in the con­struc­tion of a multi-mil­lion rand dam that has en­abled the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to pro­vide clean drink­ing wa­ter to vil­lages there.

(Photo: DPW)

EPWP par­tic­i­pants can en­ter the Pro­gramme as un­skilled work­ers and even­tu­ally be­come qual­i­fied ar­ti­sans.

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