Media statement: Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge releases EPWP phase 2 second quarter figures

Monday, November 9, 2009

Parliament - Minister of Public Works, Mr Geoff Doidge, MP, today (Monday, 09 November 2009), released the Expanded Public Works Programme's (EPWP) Second Quarter Figures, as part of a report back on the progress of government's Programme of Action since President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address.

According to the latest verified figures tabled, government has thus far created a total of 223,568 work opportunities through its Expanded Public Works Programme from the period 01 April to 31 August 2009.

Describing the latest figures as being on track in achieving set targets, Minister Doidge says the latest figures indicate a spirited increase in work opportunities created in EPWP compliant projects during the second quarter as compared to the 83,914 work opportunities created in the first quarter.

"The latest figures show us the results in our collective efforts to ensure that line function departments and municipalities have accelerated their creation of work opportunities as well as accurately reporting those opportunities created. This is a solid improvement from the first quarter figures which when released at the time, we knew were conservative due to poor reporting".

Minister Doidge says the figures are a solid foundation to create 4.5 million work opportunities for poor and unemployed people in South Africa by 2014.

"As stated in the framework for our country's response to the economic crisis, EPWP is critical in government's capacity to provide employment to those who are not absorbed into the labour market. As shown through the latest figures, we have and will still improve on the mobilizing of all spheres of government and public bodies in contributing to the EPWP outputs".

"We should not lose sight of the larger task of targets set to be met by 2014. The targets of 500 000 work opportunities set for December will be met and released once verified in January 2010. These opportunities form the base for accelerated creation of work opportunities as laid out in the ANC election manifesto and our government's Programme of Action"

Speaking on various programmes run through sectors under which EPWP Phase 2 are implemented, Minister Doidge says each project is key to changing the lives of unemployed South Africans through creation of income and address service delivery needs of communities.

"EPWP Phase 2 has four sectors namely the Social and Environment, Infrastructure, Economic and Non State. Unemployed youths, women and disabled people are currently targeted in public employment programmes including home-based care, crSches, school cleaning and renovation, community gardens, removal of alien vegetation, tree planting and school feeding."

"There are programmes such as the Food for Waste Programme that we recently launched in the Greater Kokstad Municipality where 100 community members were trained in waste collection and waste management in exchange for food parcels. Such programmes not only provide income to the beneficiaries but also assist the provision of services to our people."

For more information:
Koketso Sachane
Media Liaison Officer
Ministry of Public Works
Cell: 082 728 8836