Govt working towards 500 000 job opportunities

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cape Town - Government is working hard to deliver on its promise to create 500 000 work opportunities by the end of the year.

Presidency's chief director for policy co-ordination Alan Hirsch said on Friday that 83 000 job opportunities were created in the first quarter.

"There are some programmes that are being introduced right now and others which are being scaled up, so I don't think we should at this point concede defeat on achieving this target," said Hirsh.

In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma set a target of creating 500 000 job opportunities by the end of December.

One of the programmes government is using to create more work opportunities is through the Expanded Public Works (EPWP) programme. Over a five-year period up to March 2009, the EPWP exceeded its target by creating a cumulative total of 1.65 million work opportunities.

Its second phase is planned to create a cumulative total of four million work opportunities.

One of the analysts who were present during the release of the 2009 Development Indicators, Professor David Saunders, said government had been found lacking in terms of community-based healthcare.

He therefore suggested that it look into expanding the EPWP to employ community-based healthcare workers. He said this would help in extending health-care coverage at community level.