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Community fights unemployment

Written by Amukelani Chauke

Local government

The Community Work Programme is providing life-changing experiences to unemployed and unskilled community members who would previously have been excluded from the workplace.

The Community Work Programme is having a meaningful impact on peoples lives.The Community Work Programme (CWP) has had a meaningful impact on the lives of people and the communities in which they live.

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance Andries Nel says the programme, which was introduced in 2010 to tackle poverty, unemployment and inequality, has provided opportunities for the previously unemployed and unskilled to enable them to gain valuable exposure to work.

“Through providing these life-changing experiences to community members who would previously have been excluded from developing skills, the CWP has a real impact on the lives of people and the communities in which they live,” he said in the department’s recent annual report.

He said in Gauteng, for example, CWP participants have cleaned almost 300 000 square meters of public spaces, rivers, and canals.

They have also cleared
1 051 illegal dumping sites; maintained 2 076 community gardens; cleaned 81 000 square metres of cemeteries and refurbished 2 058 desks and benefited 34 000 learners with scholar patrols.

“The Community Work Programme has expanded from 45 municipalities in 2010/11 to 196 municipalities in 2015/16, while the participation rate has also increased from less than 100 000 to more than 200 000.

“By the end of the 2015/16 financial year, [some] 223 315 participants [will] have benefited from the programme.

“In Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, all municipalities had a Community Work Programme site by the end of March 2016,” he said.

Meanwhile government is working in partnership with the German Genossenscha-
ftsund Raiffeisenverband (DGRV) to bring development to municipalities.

The Deputy Minister said the department supported and facilitated the development of Catalytic Business Ventures with the aim of reducing red tape at national and provincial level.

The DGRV provides municipalities with skills for implementing co-operative programmes and helps co-operatives with capacity building.

“Through this partnership, 46 Local Economic Development officials were trained regarding co-operatives from 23 municipalities,” he said.

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