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More City Departments and Entities sign up for EPWP Print E-mail
16 November 2017

More City of Johannesburg departments and entities have pledged to intensify the creation of job opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in all the projects they undertake.

This commitment was made at a recent Labour Intensive Construction (LIC) workshop attended by over 50 EPWP champions from City departments and entities at the Joburg Zoo.

The workshop was facilitated by Albert Uriyo and Gamelihle Sibanda from the International Labour Organisation, who benchmarked and shared global labour intensive best practices that the City of Joburg EPWP champions may consider implementing.

“The days of using only machinery in City projects are over. Going forward, we’ll be using more manual labour in line with the EPWP,” says Simiso Mjilo, Assistant Director of EPWP infrastructure in the Department of Economic Development.

Sydney Xaki from the National Department of Public Works, commended the City for its commitment to EPWP and urged all departments to make sure that they meet or even exceed their EPWP targets. Between 1 July and 30 September 2017, the city and its entities created 6330 EPWP work opportunities, putting it well on track to meet its target of creating over 24 000 job opportunities by the end of the financial year in June 2018.

The LIC workshop was hosted by the EPWP office to assist the departments and municipal entities to plan and design their Capex and Opex projects to focus on more labour intensive job creation initiatives.

The idea is to maximise the creation of job opportunities in infrastructure projects like building of houses, the maintenance of the City’s facilities, the construction and maintenance of roads, sidewalks and storm water drainage, the installation of bulk and reticulation water and electrical systems and the cleaning of the City.

The City of Joburg is currently implementing phase III of the EPWP programme. The CoJ EPWP Phase III policy is underpinned by the tag line, ‘every project an EPWP project’ which gives guidance to the fact that whenever the City spends public funds, work opportunities must be created.

At an EPWP Lekgotla held on the 10th and 11th October 2017 City Manager, Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni underlined the importance of EPWP in light of growing unemployment in the City. Dr Lukhwareni was not impressed with the City of Joburg’s EPWP performance and contribution, as it was lower than some smaller municipalities. He emphasised the need to take EPWP seriously and that creation of EPWP work opportunities by all departments and municipal entities of the City is a non-negotiable deliverable as the City has to respond to growing unemployment levels. The City Manager stressed that the CoJ is capable of achieving and exceeding the EPWP target of 24 850 in this financial year considering that the City has a budget of more than R50 billion.

The labour intensive tasks in the bill of quantities will have to be specified and marked with “LI”. These tasks will not be executed using any other methods except for labour intensive methods. The workshop clarified that EPWP needs to be included from early project inception stages right up to the supply chain stage. This means the project designs will have to be infused with EPWP employment maximisation objectives and the tender documents with EPWP clauses. The benefit is that the departments and municipal entities will be able to specify on tender documents the number of jobs that each project should create. The consultants or design engineers and contractors will have to be NQF 7 and 5 compliant to implement labour intensive projects.

“DED and the City of Joburg agree that it is absolutely critical to achieve the 5% GDP growth because failing to contribute towards the Joburg economy has dire consequences and implications beyond Joburg’s own borders. EPWP is the cornerstone to address the immediate unemployment and skills development measures,” says Mjilo.

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Last Updated on 22 November 2017