Wage increase for EPWP participants

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pretoria – The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) will increase wages for its participants from R78.86 per day or per task performed to R83.59.

The wage increase will come into effect from Tuesday, 1 November 2016.

The EPWP wage is adjusted annually in line with the prevailing inflation rate. According to Statistics South Africa, the annual inflation rate in August 2016 was 6%.

Implementing agents of the EPWP are urged to adhere to the approved prescribed minimum wage increase.

“In moving this country forward and taking into consideration the welfare of EPWP participants, we have taken a view that their wages must be adjusted accordingly.

“This wage hike is one of many ways that government is working on to improve the lives of these participants. This wage increase is expected to put poverty at bay, especially as we are approaching the festive season and the new school year,” said Deputy Director General of the EPWP in the National Department of Public Works, Stanley Henderson.

The adjusted minimum wage is applicable to all participants in the EPWP across all sectors. For projects that pay wage above the prescribed minimum wage, employees must continue doing so, Handerson said.

Participants in the programme have welcomed the wage increase.

“The increase in wages will help me to buy more food for my children this Christmas. I may even be able to get my 9-year-old daughter that Christmas dress she loves so much,” Sarah Motsoeneng said.

Motsoeneng is one of the 30 EPWP participants employed as cleaners at the Ivy Cassaburi Soup Kitchen in Frankfort in the Free State. The Ivy Cassaburi Soup Kitchen is a non-profit organisation that cares for children from poor households, the sickly and the elderly.

The NPO is one many EPWP funded NPOs and it does its work within the EPWP’s social sector environment. 

The EPWP remains one of the successful government initiatives aimed at reducing poverty and unemployment through the provision of training and work opportunities.

The participants work on different projects like early childhood development, home community based care, extra school support programme, Working on Fire, Working for Water and Roads Maintenance Projects, etc.

Through various skills and training provided to participants through the EPWP, the participants stand an improved chance to enter a formal job market or to become entrepreneurs and thus drivers of our economy.

As part of the skills development initiative, participants are trained in enterprise development, enabling them to establish their own cooperatives or small companies, thereby creating additional needed jobs. – SAnews.gov.za