Oct 2014

EPWP is changing the lives of young people

Written by Albert Pule
The Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) is making a positive impact on the lives of young people across the country, and remains a key programme of government to alleviate poverty and create employment.

Northern Cape participants of the EPWP programme says the programme have given them the much needed skills to change their lives.“The EPWP remains the key government programme that strives to uplift the socioeconomic status of the poor and unemployed. It also seeks to provide opportunities for basic training to new job seekers and in some cases newly qualified young people.

“We are delighted with the cooperation that the EPWP enjoys with a number of stakeholders from municipalities, provincial and national departments, as well as civil society organisations. We are also equally pleased by the positive impact that the EPWP has made on the lives of many families across the country.”

Among the many lives that have been changed positively by the EPWP are those of three Northern Cape young people.

Twenty-six-year old Alromanus Boyes from Springbok matriculated in 2004 and enrolled for the EPWP in 2011. He completed his Artisan Development Programme training in 2013 and has since been employed on contract at the Nuclear Corporation of South Africa.

“It was difficult but I didn't give up. I advise other young, unemployed people to take note of any opportunity that arises as that has helped me to be where I am today,” he added. Pearl Rainers, 22, from Springbok who matriculated in 2008 and passed her artisan trade test in July 2013, says the EPWP has given her a chance to do what she loves.

“I really love the work that I am doing and I abide by the timelines.” She intends to study further within the artisan industry.

Ross Marving, 32, from Keimoes, says the programme is a good initiative.

“The EPWP provides skills development to the unemployed and reduces poverty.

“I am very happy to be part of this programme as it has made my dreams come true," says Marving.

His vision is to further his studies within the artisan industry.

Highlights of the EPWP Phase 2 include:

  • The incentive grant model was revised to give rural municipalities easier access to grants in order to increase labour intensive work opportunities through the EPWP projects.
  • The Programme reached its target for women and youth participating in the programme, with 60 per cent of the participants being women and 50 per cent being youth, compared to the targets of 55 per cent women and 40 per cent youth.
  • All 278 municipalities across the country have signed protocol agreements, committing them to achieve their EPWP targets.
  • The government has collaborated with civil society organisations to create work opportunities and provide services at grassroots level.
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