Expanded Public Works Programme
The Expanded Public Works Programme is one of government's array of programmes aimed at providing poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed.
Government launched the Programme in April 2004 to promote economic growth and create sustainable development.
During Phase 1, the Programme surpassed its Cabinet mandated target of 1 million work opportunities a year ahead of schedule, with 1.6 million work opportunities created at the end of the scheduled initial five year period (2004-2009).
The programme aims to achieve its objectives and targets through the delivery of public and community services. Public bodies from the national, provincial and local spheres of government are expected to collaborate with the national Department of Public Works (DPW).
EPWP Phase 2, which covers the period 2009/10 – 2013/14 aims to create 4.5 million work opportunities for poor and unemployed people of South Africa, thereby contributing to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving unemployment by 2014.
The programme made a positive change in many people's lives. These are some of their stories:
- When she opened her first–ever bank account, 31 year old Happiness Notwane from North West was over the moon to have got an opportunity as an EPWP beneficiary in 2010. She was employed by the EPWP Non State Sector to clean pavements and eradicate alien plants around the communities. “I was very happy when we got our bank cards from FNB, with the help of EPWP. The stipend made sure I could take of my child”.
- ‘Partners in Development’ was established to empower the people of Stedham to re-cultivate their land so that in the long-term the beneficiaries can farm their own maize fields and sustain themselves through selling of maize. The project employs 150 EPWP Non-State Sector (NSS) beneficiaries.
Ms Buyisile Zulu, a beneficiary of the project said “I’m happy that I’m working for something that will sustain all of us. We are removing alien plants and roots so that we can farm our own fields. We have been working on this land for two years and are looking forward to fencing the fields in preparation for planting season”.
- By the end of the 2011/12 financial year, more than two million work opportunities had been created since the start of the second phase. The target for this phase is 4.5 million. This achievement positions the Programme as one of the key catalysts in government’s jobs creation drive.
- The Programme created 540 423 work opportunities and 137 525 permanent jobs in 2011/12. Of these, 66 355 were under the Community Works Programme. The agricultural sector, including the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP), contributed 7 092 jobs of which 1 105 were permanent. The use of local labour in housing and infrastructure development contributed significantly to job creation and skills development.
- The Programme easily reached its target for women and youth participating in the programme, with 60% of the participants being women and 50% being youth, compared to the targets of 55% women and 40% youth. The target for people with disabilities was not met.
- In November 2011, the DPW hosted the second annual EPWP Municipal Summit. At the summit it was resolved that the EPWP institutional arrangements would be strengthened through the formation of District Steering Committees and the development of EPWP municipal policies.
- In 2011/12, eight new EPWP District Steering Committees were created, in addition to the 11 operational District Steering Committees already existing.
- Furthermore, to date 277 out of 278 municipalities have signed protocol agreements, committing them to achieve their EPWP targets.
- The incentive grant model was revised to give rural municipalities easier access to grants in order to increase labour intensive work opportunities through the EPWP projects. The revised model has been implemented since the 2012/13 financial year.
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