New MEC launches CWP in Ntunjambili

2016-06-22 06:00
Attending the iLembe District launch of the Community Work Project (CWP) were from left: the mayor of Ndwedwe Maxwell Hadebe, deputy mayor of iLembe Dolly Shandu, newly appointed MEC of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda, deputy minister of COGTA Andries Nel, mayor of Maphumulo Happy Ngcobo and chairperson of the iLembe House of Traditional Leaders iNkosi VT Ngcobo. Photo: supplied

Attending the iLembe District launch of the Community Work Project (CWP) were from left: the mayor of Ndwedwe Maxwell Hadebe, deputy mayor of iLembe Dolly Shandu, newly appointed MEC of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda, deputy minister of COGTA Andries Nel, mayor of Maphumulo Happy Ngcobo and chairperson of the iLembe House of Traditional Leaders iNkosi VT Ngcobo. Photo: supplied

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NEWLY appointed KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda launched the Community Works Programme (CWP) on behalf of KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Nomusa Dube-Ncube in Ntunjambili, Maphumulo, last Friday, 17 June.

The programme is aimed at combating the high levels of poverty within the iLembe District, specifically in the kwaMaphumulo area by providing employment to over 2 500 people.

Furthermore, the CWP tackles poverty and unemployment by providing an employment safety net by giving participants a minimum number of regular days of work, typically two days a week or eight days a month, thus providing a predictable income stream.

The launch was attended by the deputy minister of COGTA in South Africa Andries Nel, the deputy mayor of iLembe District Dolly Shandu, the mayor of Maphumulo Happy Ngcobo, the mayor of Ndwedwe Maxwell Hadebe and the chairperson of the iLembe House of Traditional Leaders iNkosi VT Ngcobo.

Speaking at the event, Kaunda said the launch is a testament to the fact that the provincial government continues to work for its people.

He urged the residents of Ntunjambili to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the programme which has helped to alleviate poverty in impoverished communities by providing a source of income.

“The CWP has left a big mark in the Province as 40 000 people are currently under this programme, and are able to play a meaningful part in the building and maintenance of infrastructure in their communities. The programme’s beneficiaries are mostly females, who have the responsibility of providing for their families,” said Kaunda.

He said the iLembe District has been one of the worst drought-hit areas within the province with the drought decimating water reserves.

“Some of the people that are part of this programme are playing a role in the roll out of water infrastructure to drought-hit communities,” said Kaunda.

According to Kaunda, just over 2 900 people – mostly women, and young people and the disabled – are benefitting from the CWP in all the four municipalities under iLembe District.

“These numbers prove that this is indeed a community project. As the government, we wish to see communities take ownership of this programme and cherish it. We commend the Department of COGTA and applaud that in terms of numbers, women and the youth are the biggest benefactors. We applaud this because we know women take care of their families well and we want our young people [to stay off] the streets,” said Kaunda.

Welcoming the delegates, the CWP workers as well as the community, Shandu urged the workers to take ownership of the programme so it will be a success.

“As a district, we are [grateful for] this programme because it will go a long way in assisting our people and eradicating poverty. As a district, like many in the country, we are faced with countless protests.

“We have people burning down roads and clinics. After the protest, you come back home and your mother is sick and there is no clinic. It will take time for the government to build that clinic again,” she said.

Maphumulo mayor Happy Ngcobo thanked COGTA for launching the programme in Ntunjambili, a rural area steeped in abject poverty that would benefit immensely with the introduction of such a programme, she said.

Deputy minister Nel said: “Today we have a government that cares for our people, a government that has heard the cries for employment.

The rolling out of the CWP across South Africa by the government is a recognition of the problem of unemployment and inequality.

It targets the communities that the apartheid system had long forgotten about, but that this government didn't forget about,” he said.

Nel said government recognised that KZN has one of the highest rates of unemployment and that is why the national government is working closely with the province to assist the people of KZN.

He told the workers that government is aware that two days work and the stipend is not enough. However, he urged the workers to be patient.

“The money we have is not enough. We can't increase the days or the stipend because we plan to roll out the programmes to other communities so that other people and their families can benefit, too” he said.

Inkosi Ngcobo praised the government for the CWP, and vouched for its success in iLembe, especially in Maphumulo where he is based.

“These kinds of programmes are very helpful to our people,” he said.

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