EPWP to focus on youth, women programmes

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) biannual summit, which ended on Wednesday, has resolved to prioritise and expand youth and women programmes such as mass sport participation and school homework assistance. 

The EPWP implementing public bodies that attended the two-day summit at Saint Georges Hotel in Pretoria committed themselves to working harder to come up with programmes that will attract young people and women into the EPWP. 

The summit was held under the theme ‘The Past, Present and the Future’. 

In his opening remarks at the summit, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi urged delegates to advance Public Employment Programmes (PEPs) ideas and best practice, as well as reflect on how best to implement the programmes. 

The Minister said in preparation for ushering in EPWP Phase 4 in 2019, consultations with the relevant stakeholders are already underway.

Among the dignitaries who attended the summit were MEC for Public Works in the Eastern Cape, Pemmy Majodina; Jacob Mamabolo, the MEC for Infrastructure Development Department in Gauteng and Dr Michael Samson of the International Labour organisation (ILO). 

In his closing remarks, Public Works Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin said the expansion of youth projects was a solution to the challenge of drawing more young people into the EPWP. 

“We have noted that… innovative programmes such as mass sport participation programmes, school assistant programmes and other such programmes is vital in getting more young people to participate in the EPWP,” Cronin said. 

He underscored the importance of training to ensure that young people are drawn into the EPWP. 

Some of the EPWP 6th Summit resolutions, as adopted by delegates, include:

  • Public bodies need to customise and adopt the approved recruitment guidelines to ensure that fair and transparent processes are followed in the recruitment of EPWP participants.
  • The Summit resolves that in the pursuance of EPWP objectives, coordinating departments and public bodies shall establish partnerships with State and non-State actors, including the private sector, taking into consideration commitments made at the Jobs Summit 2018.
  • The Summit notes progress made in developing a national EPWP policy and resolves that it should be finalised by 30 November 2019.
  • The Summit notes the lack of full compliance by public bodies to the Ministerial Determination on their EPWP projects and resolves that all Public Bodies must adopt EPWP Standard Operating Procedures in this regard.
  • The National Department of Public Works and all lead sector departments will continue to liaise with relevant stakeholders to source additional funding for training and ensure that quality training is provided to EPWP participants, in-line with EPWP sector training strategies. – SAnews.gov.za