Councillors explain EPWP in their areas

2018-04-10 06:00

Councillors have explained their relationship to the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in their communities following recent reports of EPWP workers failing to perform their duties and councillors doing nothing about it.

The report includes areas falling in two different wards, namely Rosebank (ward 57 under Paddy Chapple) and Kenilworth (ward 59 under Ian Eversen) where similar challenges are being experienced.

Isaac Motivation, a resident of Rosebank, has accused both councillors of failing to monitor the work of EPWP workers and the recruitment database.

He says it is confusing for them as residents when they wish to enquire about certain issues involving cleanliness and EPWP projects.

“We subsequently phoned only to be told that people register on the City of Cape Town’s EPWP system database to be recruited on the City’s projects. If the EPWP project aims to clean and provide community safety, then these subways will be smart and safe. The reluctance to act is a sign we must vote arrogant councillors out as we need councillors that will listen to us, the residents and ratepayers, who are keeping the council afloat.”

Both councillors agree that Motivation misunderstood the link between the EPWP and the council. Eversen says EPWP workers are activated by various departments and sometimes councillors to undertake usually labouring type jobs. “The issue of EPWP workers is something that Isaac has raised but he seems to be unaware that EPWP staff are funded by the state and not the municipality and they usually have short contracts.”

Chapple explains that his ward is active in the EPWP field. He says job seeker application forms are kept at the ward office but fall under the leadership of the national government and are not mainly focused on cleanliness.

“The EPWP is a state initiative and is state funded. When EPWP projects are done in the ward, the names are randomly selected from the database. Councillors and officials are not involved in the selection process. The work is extremely wide ranging, from alien vegetation removal from the Liesbeek, Working for Water on the mountain, street sweeping and beach cleaning, to labourer positions building the new forensic building in Main Road. Based on their performance, many EPWP workers have since applied for and have been successfully placed in permanent posts,” says Chapple.

Councillors advise that anyone with complaints about the role of the EPWP should email contactus­@­capetown.gov.za.

The programme is open to unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 35 years.

“They can register at their nearest subcouncil office and names are computer generated for appointments and people are then phoned to ask firstly if they are still unemployed and secondly if they are interested in doing the available job,” Eversen concludes.

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