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South Africa:Over 600 000 Work Opportunities created by the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Social Sector
Source: Issued by: Department of Social Development
Source Date: Friday, March 15, 2013
Country: South Africa
Created: Mar 15, 2013

The EPWP is one of government’s programmes aimed at alleviating poverty and providing income relief through temporary work for the unemployed to carry out socially useful activities. It was launched in 2004 and there are plans in place to extend and massify the programme to beyond 2014.
“While we have recorded notable progress in the first and second phase implementation of this programme, we are conscious that success does not come by chance, but is the product of deliberate planning and commitment. And that is what makes this gathering so important,” said Deputy Minister Ntuli during her address.
Outlining the purpose of the conference, the Department of Public Work’s Deputy Director General for EPWP, Mr Stanley Henderson, told the gathering that it will be crucial going forward to align the EPWP to the National Development Plan (NDP) in order to tackle some of the challenges it highlights, including transformational imperatives and the up scaling of education and training to improve the employment prospects of South Africans, especially the youth.
“The EPWP must play a key role in tackling unemployment and provide access to social services, especially to marginalised communities. We have to ensure that through the EPWP our youth acquire the necessary work experience and skills to set them on sustainable career paths,” explained Mr Henderson.
In spite of the progress made in the implementation of EPWP, Deputy Minister Ntuli expressed concern about the monitoring and evaluation of the programme. “I am concerned about the lack of a proper monitoring and evaluation system and non-compliance by some provinces. We must address this as a matter of urgency. Previous assessments of EPWP progress have shown that ownership of the programme at all spheres of government is critical for its success,” said Deputy Minister Ntuli.
The conference will over the next four days focus on the following:
• Evaluating progress made since the EPWP Conference in 2012
• Sharing learning experiences to improve the implementation of the programme
• Reviewing the work conducted by the implementing departments in the current financial year
• Deliberating on strategic policy initiatives as pronounced by government, especially as they relate to the National Development Plan and the New Growth Path
• Identifying new areas of expansion for the sector to achieve set targets
• Planning for the coming financial year.
The conference is held under the theme, “EPWP Social Sector United in Action towards Socio-Economic Freedom” and will have commissions, in which people who benefited from the EPWP will have an opportunity to share their experiences and discuss various socio-economic challenges.
Stakeholders and partners attending the conference include the Departments of Public Works, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and the South African Local Government Association.
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