Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize has lauded the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and Community Work Programme (CWP), saying the initiative is assisting government tackle unemployment.
The programmes provide job opportunities to communities and assist to eradicate poverty.
Mkhize made the remarks while addressing the launch of the Expanded Public Works Programme Social Sector Projects in Graaf Reinet, Eastern Cape, on Thursday.
“Being the flagship programme, the EPWP has done a lot to change the lives of poor South Africans and together with the CWP, it has contributed to alleviating unemployment and poverty through the creation of short- to medium-term work opportunities using labour-intensive methods,” he said.
The two programmes, Mkhize said, had reached across all spheres of government. The programmes focus on interventions in the sectors of Infrastructure, Social, Environment and Culture and the Non-State Sector.
In a statement, the Cogta Ministry said Mkhize had in his address emphasised the importance of both EPWP and CWP in the lives of ordinary South Africans.
Yesterday’s launch highlighted the importance of collaborations and partnerships in efforts to reverse social ills and a reminder that more needs to be done to change the lives of South Africans.
“Minister Mkhize highlighted that it would be important for all these key social programmes to cooperate for maximum impact and achieving the stated objectives. Since 2004, the EPWP has created about 10 million job opportunities and Phase 4 of this programme will be launched in the coming weeks.
“The aim of government is to ensure that such programmes continue to work and provide the much needed support to South Africans who are in need of work,” the Ministry said.
Through these interventions, communities become the main beneficiaries of clean cities and environments, while participants benefit as they receive a monthly stipend, training and on-the-job experience. Through these programmes, government is able to prepare participants for future employment, as they are trained and receive certificates.
Under Beyers Naude Municipality, the programme is working in seven wards in Camdeboo alone and spreads across the three towns of Graff Reinet, Aberdeen, and Nieu-Bethesda, where participants undertake cleaning and maintenance work in 12 schools, six crèches, two hospitals, one clinic, three community halls, seven churches, two cemeteries, three libraries and four sports fields. Participants also work with the municipality in filling potholes, patching roads, fixing water pipes and closing leakages.