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Kyle Zeeman | 12 October 2023

Potholes have become a serious problem across the country.

The latest phase of government's Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) will create over five million job opportunities.

Government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is switching focus on infrastructure in its latest phase, including fixing potholes, lifts, plumbing, and solar installation.

Public Works and Infrastructure minister Sihle Zikalala detailed the upcoming fifth phase of the programme, saying it will create more than five million job opportunities. The programme’s latest phase has so far delivered more than four million jobs and is set to end in March next year.

Among the changes will be the reopening of government workshops and the insourcing of graduates from the National Youth Service (NYS). The workshops will be the crucibles of innovation, skills development and practical exposure.

“By integrating NYS graduates into these workshops, we aim to foster a culture of continuous learning and hands-on experience, ensuring our youth are not just employable but are drivers of innovation and change.”

The jobs created will include pothole patching, brick paving, cleaning of neighbourhoods and waste management, retrofitting of government buildings and solar installations, and fixing lifts and plumbing.

‘More than beating unemployment’

“EPWP Phase 5 should be more than just combatting unemployment. It is about rewriting the story of our youth from one of despair to one of hope, from stagnation to growth and from dependency to self-reliance.

“Our core focus should gravitate towards not just creating employment opportunities, but crafting pathways of continuous growth, learning and empowerment. Our goal goes beyond employment generation. It is about nurturing a skilled, self-reliant populace that contributes constructively to our nation’s socio-economic fabric,” said Zikalala.

Jobs for party pals?

The EPWP came under fire earlier this year, amid reports some community members were employed in the programme because they belonged to certain political parties.

The Tshwane metro said it would disqualify all applications for the programme submitted by political parties.

"We have been made aware of councillors claiming to be representing certain political formations and promising community members ‘priority status’ when completing EPWP application forms. The City of Tshwane rejects these claims that are false and misleading,” said community and social development MMC Peggy de Bruin.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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