Minister launches Operation Rea Hloekisa in Matatiele
10 Feb 2012
Public Works Minister Honourable Thulas Nxesi on 27 January 2012 took to the dusty streets of KwaPhalane, a small village in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape to launch a Clean-up and Solid Waste campaign called Operation Rea Hloekisa.
Minister Nxesi who was joined by the Eastern Cape MEC for Public Works, Ms Thandi Marawu, Matatiele Municipal leadership and traditional leaders lead the community of KwaPhalane with traditional Xhosa songs and dance before getting into the business of the day.
In his opening remarks, the Minister allayed fears that he was launching this campaign in his hometown of Matatiele alone. He assured the community that similar projects were being rolled out in hundreds of municipalities across the country.
“The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is a lead flagship programme of the Department of Public Works and of government. It seeks to address the single greatest challenge facing this country today: that is unemployment and poverty,” said Minister Nxesi.
The Minister reminded community members that the President has declared combating unemployment and job creation as a national priority.
Minister Nxesi emphasised that the Department of Public Works leads the EPWP, but municipalities and provinces play an implementing role.
“I am confident that our municipalities can play a critical role in drawing significant numbers of the unemployed into productive work, particularly because of your strategic positioning at the coalface of service delivery,” said the Minister.
Minister Nxesi also reminded the gathering that The Matatiele Waste Collection Programme seeks to keep the environment clean and as green as possible, while in a small way contributing to the wider goal of saving the planet.
“This programme seeks to employ local people to clean their surroundings - which also include the cleaning of community halls and schools, grass cutting around all the community halls and any other areas identified by the municipality,” alluded the Minister.
The Minister assured the community that bread and butter issues could not be ignored, and that EPWP was succeeding in adhering to its mandate of alleviating poverty through the provision of work opportunities to the unemployed.
The honourable Minister also highlighted some of the resolutions taken at the last year’s EPWP Municipal Summit held at Gallagher Estate. He said the summit agreed that all outstanding protocols should be signed by 31 March 2012 and that labour intensive methods should be used in the delivery of projects in order to promote the creation of work opportunities.
“I am pleased to observe the Matatiele Local Municipality taking ownership of the EPWP and adding value to the lives of the communities around their area. The National Department of Public Works commits itself to provide the municipalities with continued support by developing and making available implementation manuals on EPWP,” said Minister Nxesi.
The Minister concluded t by urging authorities and all stakeholders to ensure that corruption and nepotism does not spoil the smooth- running of this good initiative
Issued by: Department of Public Works
10 Feb 2012
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