Public Works on work opportunities for poor and unemployed

Partnerships vital in creating EPWP opportunities for the poor and unemployed South Africans

In line with State President Cyril Ramaphosas 2020 State of the Nations Address (SONA) commitment to strengthen social compact, collaboration and consensus between government, private sector and civil society in order to drive socioeconomic upliftment of our people, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), continues to work with the said sectors of society to provide the poor and unemployed South Africans with socioe-conomic opportunities.

Between April and December 2019, EPWP has created a total of 742 969 EPWP work opportunities for the poor and unemployed South Africans. This was achieved through partnership with the private sector and civil society.

These work opportunities have been created under a range of EPWP projects in the tourism and culture, infrastructure, social and non-state sectors. Although most of these opportunities are short term to medium term, some have resulted in permanent employment.

Just recently in the Northern Cape, 17 EPWP participants and all of them being young people, have successfully completed a three year Diploma in Professional Cookery and graduated from Northern Cape Rural TVET College. These participants training was a collaborated undertaking by the DPWI-together with the provinces Department of Economic Development and Tourism as well as the Northern Cape Rural TVET College. A total of seven (7) of these graduates are permanently employed by various hospitality institutions in the province which are Protea Hotel, Kalahari Lodge and Odessa Guest House in Upington.

The Acting Head of the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Ms. Jean Wilson emphasised that the collaboration between government, private sector and civil society was at the core of the success of the EPWP funded training. Speaking to the graduates, Ms. Wilson congratulated them for successfully completing their qualification and urged them to continue to take advantage of opportunities that exists in the tourism sector.

One graduate, Ms. Portia Mothibi, said the three-year training offered them skills that they can use to lift themselves out of poverty. As I speak today, I have opened my own food kitchen. Through the EPWP, I am now able to provide for myself and for my loved ones, Ms Mothibi added.

Source: Government of South Africa