EPWP workshop underway in Pretoria

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pretoria – A five-day Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workshop is currently underway in Pretoria.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop on Monday, Public Works Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin said the gathering is vital for officials who work with the EPWP to constantly improve their understanding of the programme.

“This workshop should further capacitate you to effectively implement the programme, especially as we move towards creating over six million work opportunities by 2019.

“We also hope that this workshop will give you with ideas that can help us to improve the implementation of the programme,” he said.

The programme created 497 624 work opportunities by the third quarter of 2016/17. EPWP is a nationwide programme aimed at creating work opportunities for the unemployed.

Deputy Minister Cronin commended the developmental work done by EPWP participants. He said 210 368 children across South Africa have received Early Childhood Development (ECD) services through the EPWP by the end of the third quarter of 2016/17. In the same period, 161 185 households received home-based care services through EPWP participants.

“The delivery of these assets proves that we remain a caring government,” Deputy Minister Cronin said.

A total of 21 054 kilometres of low volume roads in South Africa had been constructed and maintained through the programme.

“These roads are maintained by our participants within various EPWP programmes such as the successful Zibambele Road Maintenance Programme, where women in the rural KwaZulu-Natal are responsible for doing maintenance of the rural roads,” he said.

EPWP programmes within the environment and culture sector have removed alien plants on 416 145 hectares and rehabilitated 2 614 hectares of wetlands. They have also created and rehabilitated 466 298 community parks in various regions.

Training proves vital for programme success

Deputy Minister Cronin said the training of both participants and officials was vital in the successful implementation of the EPWP.

“Since the start of EPWP Phase 3 in 2014, we have provided training to over 50 000 participants. Of the 50 000 EPWP participants trained, more than 31 000 participants have received accredited training. The types of accredited training provided include apprenticeship training, contractor development, pharmacy assistant programme, caregiving and other such programmes.

“Participants who have been trained have contributed in the delivery of services that benefit our communities such as caring for the disabled, those with HIV/Aids as well as the elderly. The training has also assisted the government to provide key basic services and assets.

“For instance, participants trained in the Vukuphile Contractor Development Programme have provided infrastructure services that benefit our communities while participants trained in the delivery of extra school support have ensured that school children are being assisted with their school work in various schools where the programme is being implemented,” he said.  

Officials who attended the workshop came from various parts of the country. One of the attendees, Thabani Mazibuko from KwaZulu-Natal, said he hoped the workshop would provide him with better understanding of implementing the programme in his province. – SAnews.gov.za

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