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Thousands to benefit from Joburg’s EPWP job opportunities Print E-mail
epwp

The City of Johannesburg’s Economic Development Department is to create more than 20 000 labour-intensive work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the 2017-2018 financial year, which started on July 1.

The EPWP is one of the government’s interventions aimed at alleviating poverty and providing people with project-based skills training to further boost their employability in the marketplace. Statistics show that there are more than 800 000 unemployed people in Johannesburg.

The City of Joburg has been participating in the EPWP since its inception in 2004. The programme is implemented across sectors such as infrastructure, culture and environment.

For the current financial year, the national Department of Public Works has awarded the City an Incentive Grant totalling R17.4-million to help its departments and entities expand job creation through the EPWP.

Besides giving participants temporary labour-intensive work opportunities, the EPWP also provides them with skills such as paving, plumbing, project management, civil engineering, horticulture and motor mechanics. Women and the youth are the biggest beneficiaries of the programme.

In the 2016-2017 financial year, 63% of the beneficiaries in Johannesburg were the youth. Women constituted 36% of the temporary workforce and the disabled 0.75%.

“We use the City’s line budget to implement EPWP. We have a policy that states that every programme is an EPWP project because, wherever the City is spending funds, especially on capital budget, there must be a creation of temporary work opportunities,” says Edwell Gumbo, Deputy Director of Skills Development in the City of Joburg’s Economic Development Department.

Most of the City of Joburg’s entities and departments take part in the EPWP. Among them are the Community Development Department, Health Department, Johannesburg Property Company, Joburg Fresh Produce Market, Housing Department and Metrobus.

Gumbo says EPWP is about creating job opportunities through the use of labour-intensive methods. “For example, instead of using machinery to dig a trench, we hire, say, 10 people to do the same job at almost the same cost and maybe over the same time,” says Gumbo.

There are four EPWP flagship projects currently on the go. These are the Waste Pickers project, Home Community-Based Care, Peace Officers’ initiative and Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management project.

The Waste Pickers project, which is implemented through the Environment and Infrastructure Services Department, created 178 work opportunities in the 2016-2017 financial year. It involves recovering recyclable waste in households and industries.

The Home Community-Based Care initiative, which is run through the Health Department, created 230 job opportunities in the past financial year. The project comprises sub-programmes such as health promotion, HIV counselling and testing and queue marshalling at the City’s primary healthcare facilities.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department’s Peace Officers initiative was initially conceived as a tourism ambassadors’ project ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It has created more than 700 work opportunities and more than 260 beneficiaries have since been employed by JMPD as fulltime officers.

The Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management project, implemented through the Johannesburg City Theatres, seeks to turn community-based theatre groups into business-conscious companies. In the past financial year, the City appointed 105 candidates who had been awarded certificates in Humanities by the Wits School of Arts.


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Last Updated on 17 July 2017