Works programme brings hope

2015-11-04 06:00
PHOTO: supplied EPWP workers in their new uniforms.

PHOTO: supplied EPWP workers in their new uniforms.

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WORKING on Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), the residents of Kwa Sani Municipality in Underberg have new hope for the future.

Coming from a disadvantaged background in Ward 2, Mzoxolo Hlongwana is one of thousands of young people who have been unemployed for a long time, but at last his dream of getting a job has come true.
“I struggled to complete Grade 11 because I wanted to further my studies and because I am now part of the Expanded Public Works Programme, my life has changed for the better.”

Hlongwana will receive a stipend for the duration of his contract on the programme.

The EPWP in Kwa Sani started in 2011 and more than 200 people benefited from it and the municipality has already invested R3 million on it.

The programme is a government initiative that aims to reduce unemployment and poverty by creating jobs and training people.
The state, organs of the state, provincial government and municipalities undertake projects for the creation or provision of public works services across three sectors - environment, culture and social and infrastructure.

In line with government’s war on poverty, the Kwa Sani Municipality has drafted its own EPWP policy and implementation framework which was approved by council.

Kwa Sani established a dedicated unit to co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate progress in the implementation of the programme.

“I started work last year after signing a six-month contract, which the municipality renewed in September. Before I employed on the programme it was hard for me because I was not working,” said Hlongwana, who has two
children.

“I learnt a lot of skills in road maintenance and even received a recognition certificate from the municipality in this regard,” said Hlongwana, who thanked the municipality for giving him this opportunity.

Zwelihle Ngcobo from Ward 3 started on the programme in 2013 and said it changed his life for the better as he was unemployed before then.
He said he learnt about cleaning gardens and pruning flowers which he will use to make the town beautiful.

On Friday, the municipality gave 37 EPWP workers new uniforms.

Kwa Sani Municipality councillor, Sihle Mqwambi said they are working hard to ensure they create jobs and curb poverty among Kwa Sani Municipality residents.

He said most of the people on the programme came from youth and child-headed families.

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