25 June 2014
South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) aims to create 6-million work opportunities over the next five years, says Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin.
Speaking to reporters in Pretoria on Monday, Cronin said the third phase of the programme – running from 2014 to 2019 – would focus on community participation, in order to ensure that poor people become actively involved in government programmes within their communities.
“The EPWP remains the key government programme that strives to uplift the socio-economic status of the poor and unemployed,” Cronin said. “It also seeks to provide opportunities for basic training to new job seekers and in some cases newly qualified young people.”
The programme has created over five-million work opportunities for poor and unemployed South Africans since its launch in 2004 – 1.6-million in its first phase (2004 to 2009) and over 4-million in its second phase (2009 to 2014).
The programme also surpassed its targets for women (55%) and youth (40%) participation, with 60% of the participants being women and 50% being youth.
During the second phase, the incentive grant model was revised to give rural municipalities easier access to grants in order to increase labour-intensive work opportunities through EPWP projects.
All 278 municipalities across the country have signed protocol agreements committing them to achieve their EPWP targets.
Cronin cited as an example of how the project was working the placement of pupils from the Northern Cape at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa at Pelindaba in Gauteng. He said participants in the artisan development programme had received training and passed trade tests in areas such as welding, fitting and turning.
He said the programme was a “good example of what can be achieved through a committed partnership between provincial and national departments”.