Ghana learns from SA’s public works programme

Friday, November 10, 2017

A delegation from Ghana says it will take back home valuable lessons on labour intensive construction after visiting South Africa and studying the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

The week long study tour was led by the Deputy Director for Planning in the Ghanaian Department of Feeder Roads, Dr Kwasi Osafo Ampadu, along with the project leader from the Japan International Corporation (JICA), Hiroaki Takahashi. JICA is a Japanese entity that is working with the Ghana government to fund road construction projects in Ghana.

The team visited EPWP road construction project in Tshwane and another project in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. The study tour was financed by the JICA.

Ampadu on Friday said that touring EPWP projects has been an eye opener.

“We have seen EPWP construction in action. For instance in Tshwane (Soshanguve), we saw the actual mixing of concrete product directly by labour – instead of machines – and we were impressed.

“At the Western Cape projects, we observed the asphalt laying process being done by labour up to the compaction stage.

“Indeed we are talking all the material that we have learned and acquired from this study back home to work on enriching our model of labour based construction method,” Ampadu said.

The Deputy Director General of the EPWP in the Department of Public Works, Stanley Henderson, said the Ghanaian’s study tour of EPWP projects strengthened relations between African countries.

“The study visit has been helpful to both countries (South Africa and Ghana) because we have been able to share between ourselves the best practices in the creation of work opportunities for our people through the use of labour intensive methods of construction.

“We are humbled that the government of Ghana selected the EPWP as a case study to develop their own model of labour based road construction,” Henderson said.

He said since the start of the 2016/17 financial year, the EPWP had created 779 251 work opportunities for the people of South Africa.

“The EPWP’s Contractor Development Programme called Vuk’uphile is currently training 330 emerging contractors in the country. These contractors are being trained on labour intensive construction.

“With the work that we are doing through the EPWP, we are certain that the delegates from Ghana are going back home with a better understanding of how we have ramped-up work creation through the programme. We hope that they will use some of the work that we do in the EPWP to enrich their own models of implementing projects labour extensively,” Henderson said.

The study tour was facilitated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the organisation’s technical advisor based in the office of the EPWP. –

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