Department of Public Works and Infrastructure continues to contribute to the government’s economic recovery plan
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to threaten the livelihoods of many South Africans, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) re-affirms its position to alleviate poverty and unemployment by providing work opportunities to the poor and unemployed South Africans. This re-affirmation is subsequent to Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa’s outline of key priority areas in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The DPWI welcomes Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment to support the government funded social economy programmes such as the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Speaking during the tabling of his 2021 State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament on 11 February 2021, President Ramaphosa commended the contribution of these programmes in the fight against poverty and unemployment in the country.
Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, the EPWP continues to create the much needed work and training opportunities for the poor and unemployed South Africans.
The EPWP has between April 2020 and December 2020 created 515,862 work opportunities for the poor and unemployed South Africans. All four Sectors of the EPWP – Infrastructure, Environment & Culture, Social and Non-State – contributed to these opportunities, with the largest numbers coming from Infrastructure with 208,505 work opportunities, followed by Social with 164,275 work opportunities. The EPWP Environment & Culture, and Non-State sectors created 108,762 and 34,320 respectively.
EPWP performance per Province (April 2020 to December 2020)
KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape continue to lead in the creation of EPWP opportunities – the two provinces created 144,614 and 108,279 respectively.
The EPWP acting Deputy Director General, Ms Carmen –Joy Abrahams has indicated that the EPWP will continue with initiatives to stimulate employment opportunities and improve livelihoods beyond covid-19.
Brief Background of the EPWP
Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is one of government’s Programme which is aimed at reducing unemployment and alleviate poverty through the creation of work opportunities using labour-intensive methods. The EPWP is implemented in four sectors namely: Infrastructure, Social, Environment & Culture and Non-State. All spheres of government and State-Owned Entities are expected to implement the Programme.
The EPWP Participants (beneficiaries) work in different projects such as Community Work Programme (CWP), Early Childhood Development Programmes, Home Community Based Care Programmes, Extra School Support Programmes, Working on Fire, Working for Water, Roads Maintenance Projects, etc.
Through various skills and training that the participants receive from the EPWP, they (participants) stand a better chance to enter the formal job market and/or become entrepreneurs.
Source: Government of South Africa