Public works programme ‘creating jobs’

31 August 2011

Almost 310 000 work opportunities have been created through the government’s expanded public works programme (EPWP) since April, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Briefing the media as chair of the social protection and community development cluster of ministries, she said “impressive progress” was being made in implementing the second phase of the EPWP.

“To date, more than 308 000 work opportunities have been created since the beginning of the current fiscal year, with most of the work opportunities created in the infrastructure sector,” she said.

Phase two refocused resources to ensure expansion of further job opportunities in other programmes, such as community safety, mass participation in sport, Khari Gude mass literacy, school nutrition programmes, and the cemetery management programme.

Other initiatives included the waste management programme.

The public works department, in partnership with the Independent Development Trust (IDT), was implementing the food for waste programme.

In terms of the programme, communities received food vouchers for collecting waste and taking it to collection depots for weighing.

The vouchers were then redeemed for groceries at participating local outlets.

The programme was aimed at helping municipalities to provide waste collection services, specifically where municipalities were unable to provide the service, Dlamini said.

The programme was now being rolled out in 30 municipalities in the provinces. It had so far managed to create over 3 000 job opportunities for poor and vulnerable communities.

The programme aimed to create job opportunities, fight hunger and poverty, promote a clean environment, and promote recycling, waste reduction, and re-use.

Dlamini said the recent Cabinet lekgotla had identified the community works programme as one of the key job creation and service delivery improvement programmes.

Between April 2010 and March this year the programme created 89 689 jobs across 45 municipalities covering 417 wards throughout the country.

“These measures are indicative of the proactive strategic approach the cluster has taken by investing in labour intensive programmes to boost job creation,” she said.

Sapa