May 2015

EPWP makes a positive impact in the lives of young people

Written by Albert Pule

The Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) has made a positive impact in the lives of many young people across the country.

The EPWP targets mostly young people under the age of 35 by giving them jobs to work in various projects in their communities.

According to the Labour Market Dynamics for South Africa 2014 report, seven out of 10 young people who participated in the EPWP and other government job creation programmes were employed, up from 42.8% in 2013 to 56.9% in 2014.

Godfrey Maja from Vryburg is one of the many young people whose life changed as a result of being employed under the EPWP.

Maja left his job as a petrol attendant to join the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for the upgrading of Hayes Park in the central business district of Vryburg in the North West.

He is one of the 30 young people from Vryburg who were employed during the upgrading of the park. When they started in 2013, some of them did not have technical skills such as plumbing, irrigation, bricklaying, painting and cutting and planting of grass.

“It has been two years of working in this park and I have learned a lot of skills that I can use to empower myself and make a living out of,” he says at the official opening of the park. 

He says at the beginning of the construction of the park, he did not know many things. “When I started here I didn’t know a lot of things that I now know and it all because of this park.”

The park will be used as a place of entertainment, play area, wedding reception and municipal functions will be held at the new park.

“Two years ago this park was like a very thick bush and you couldn’t enter here easily, but now look at it,” he says as he points to the well-trimmed lawn and well-manicured flowers on the east side of the park.

He says on behalf of the young people of Vryburg, they are grateful for the EPWP for the chance it gave them and doing something positive about their lives.

“We would like to say thank you to the management team at EPWP for the opportunity they’ve given us especially those of us who were not working before.”

During the upgrading of the park, they earned a stipend of R2200 and the park has a water fountain, braai areas, and jungle gym for children and public toilets.

He said their wish was for EPWP to assist the municipality with more funds so they can upgrade another park situated less than a two kilometres away from Hayes Park.

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