City of Cape Town gives street people and parolees a hand up

2017-12-23 08:37
Mayco member JP Smith (Jenni Evans, News24)

Mayco member JP Smith (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – Eighty street people and 20 parolees have received an early Christmas gift from the City of Cape Town.

The city has provided them with temporary employment over the festive season and well into 2018 as part of its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and "is aimed at restoring dignity and reintegrating those on the street back into society".

Mayoral committee member for Safety and Security and Social Services, JP Smith, said the initiative was launched in November for 80 street people living in shelters.

"They are working as assistants at their shelters doing cooking, cleaning and general maintenance as part of the EPWP opportunity that will continue until the end of June 2018. The city's EPWP aims to help facilitate and create employment opportunities for those residents who are in need of financial relief. At the same time, it facilitates the development of practical work experience," said Smith.

READ: Don't give 'money directly to street people', City of Cape Town begs residents

Smith added that the city has created more than 100 000 work opportunities through the EPWP since 2011 and that it has set a target of 45 000 work opportunities for the current financial year.

"Being employed doesn't just restore dignity and keep people off the street. It helps build confidence and self-esteem, which is important to those who often feel forgotten this time of year. It also gives them an opportunity to provide for their families. Although these are short-term jobs, the work provides some relief and increases the person's employment eligibility," said Smith.

The street people who were selected to be part of the programme were identified with the assistance of 17 participating shelters and the city's street people reintegration unit.

In addition, about 20 parolees have been employed through the EPWP cleaning and rehabilitation programme and they are managed by the Department of Correctional Services.

They are cleaning streets and carrying out gardening work in areas identified by the department.

The city provides a stipend to parolees, with the main aim of preventing them from ending up on the street.

"Creating employment is just one way the city is giving vulnerable groups a hand up. This is in line with our organisational development and transformation plan in which the city aims to provide economic opportunities for all," said Smith.

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Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  employment

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