Refocused EPWP to address unemployment in N West

The North West province will focus its attention on the existing Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) in efforts to root out unemployment among youth, says Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Addressing the three-day Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) Skills Development Lekgotla in Potchefstroom, Premier Mahumapelo said the province will refocus the EPWP programme from being mainly about the cleaning of environment to being innovation focused and skills development driven.

“The refocused EPWP will … ponder the extension of the employment contract from 12 to 24 months, to enable beneficiaries sufficient time to be trained before being released for their actual work through applicable recruitment processes,” said Premier Mahumapelo.

The newly refocused EPWP will be rolled out before the end of the quarter.

Through the North West Development Corporation (NWDC), EPWP beneficiaries will also be trained on fields such as security services, to pave the way for them to be absorbed or recruited by institutions like the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), State Security Agency (SSA) and other government institutions in the province.

The province said the EPWP beneficiaries’ involvement in the agriculture, culture and tourism sectors cannot be overemphasized.

“In an attempt to increase the impact of agricultural extension particularly in our villages, we will have to identify these EPWP beneficiaries and give them short training on the basics of agricultural extension to ensure that they contribute meaningfully in the province’s endeavour to improve delivery of services in this sector.”

The provincial government called on young unemployed youth to take advantage of initiatives introduced through EPWP, to better their lives. – SAnews.gov.za