Next govt expanded works programme to create 6m jobs

The South African Government is on track to implement Phase 3 of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which aims to create six million work opportunities in the next five years.

This according to Deputy Minister of Public Works, Jeremy Cronin, in a statement in Pretoria yesterday.

 The commencement of the new financial year ushered in the next phase of the EPWP, which will be implemented in the 2014/15 to 2018/19 financial years.

 Cronin, said that Phase 3 of the programme will focus on Public Employment Programmes (PEPs) through community participation 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. It also seeks to provide opportunities for basic training to new job seekers and in some cases newly qualified young people.

“We are delighted with the cooperation that the EPWP enjoys with a number of stakeholders from municipalities, provincial and national departments, as well as civil society organisations. We are also equally pleased by the positive impact that the EPWP has made on lives of many families across the country,” said the Deputy Minister.

 Cronin added that government was confident that it would meet the target of creating six million work opportunities by 2019.

The EPWP was launched in 2004 and has alleviated the social and economic living conditions of struggling families by creating over five million work opportunities for poor and unemployed South Africans.

In Phase 1, from the 2004/05 to 2008/09 financial years, the programme created 1.6 million work opportunities, surpassing the one million target set by Cabinet and a year ahead of schedule. 

During Phase 2 (2009/10 to 2013/14) the EPWP created 4 069 640 work opportunities.

In Phase 2, 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 programme also reached its target for women and youth participating in the EPWP, with 60% of the participants being women and 50% being youth, compared to the targets of 55% women and 40% youth.  Added to this, all 278 municipalities across the country have signed protocol agreements, committing them to achieve their EPWP targets.

The Deputy Minister said an example of how the project was working to better lives was the placement of learners from the Northern Cape at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA), Phelindaba in Gauteng. He said participants had undergone and passed trade tests in the Artisan Development Programme in learning areas such as fitting and turning as well as welding.



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