15 October 2010
South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) created over 190 000 job opportunities between April and June 2010, putting it well on track to achieve its target of 642 000 new jobs in the 2010/11 financial year.
“This figure reflects an impressive 30 percent achievement against the set annual target of 642 000 new work opportunities in the 2010/11 financial year,” Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge told the inaugural EPWP Summit at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban this week.
“There are still three more quarters to go to achieve 642 000 work opportunities.”
The infrastructure sector created the most work opportunities, with KwaZulu-Natal leading the way, followed by the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces.
The government’s Expanded Public Works Programme gives unskilled and unemployed people the opportunity to earn an income from short-term employment through labour-intensive projects.
They are mainly employed in the infrastructure, economy, environment, cultural and social sectors.
The programme is a key component in the government’s drive to halve unemployment in South Africa by creating 4.5-million new work opportunities by 2014.
Doidge urged officials from the 283 municipalities participating in the summit to use the state’s resources to address social and infrastructure backlogs.
“There is a need for local government to maximise their efforts during phase two in the implementation of the programme,” the minister said, adding that more funds would be committed to the programme.