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The short-term work opportunity scheme has consistently outperformed annual targets set – with just shy of 200 000 jobs created since 2010 and a number of national awards in the bag.

The City of Cape Town continues to lead the way in the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) – a national government initiative aimed at giving unemployed South Africans a hand up through temporary jobs to earn some form of income, but also to acquire skills that could make them more employable.

In the previous financial year, the City surpassed its target of creating 42 500 work opportunities ending on 45 875. This is in line with a trend that dates back to 2011, as outlined below:

FINANCIAL YEAR Nov 2010 Dec 2011 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 TOTAL
TARGET 16 000 22 000 35 000 37 500 40 000 42 500 193 000
ACTUAL PERFORMANCE 13 145 26 403 35 556 38 303 40 055 45 875 199 337

The City’s Utility Services Directorate, along with Transport for Cape Town (TCT) are two of the biggest ‘employers’, accounting for just over 50% of all work opportunities created in the previous financial year. Other big ‘employers’ include Human Settlements, Community Services and the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorates.

‘The Expanded Public Works Programme is an opportunity to give some of our most vulnerable residents a hand up, but also the opportunity to amass skills that they can put to use in their search for permanent employment. The City’s performance in this programme is testament to our commitment to improving the lives of our residents. We’ve fine-tuned the programme to ensure maximum benefit for all involved, so much so that other municipalities want to learn from us. I therefore encourage unemployed residents to register on the Jobseeker’s Database so that they too can become eligible for opportunities that arise,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.

Jobseekers can register on the Database at their local subcouncil office. Registrations are valid for 12 months, which means that jobseekers must update their details at least once a year to ensure that they are considered for opportunities that arise in their areas. During the previous year, the City also embarked on a clean up the Jobseeker’s Database to track down those among the 400 000 registered applicants who haven’t updated their details as required.

‘This is a first because we are going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we’re reaching as many people as possible with this initiative. We’re also trying to make the programme as inclusive as possible. For a number of years now, we have also used EPWP as part of the reintegration of street people and in the last financial year, we launched a pilot project that provided work opportunities for parolees, in conjunction with the Department of Correctional Services,’ added Councillor Little.

The City’s EPWP implementation has received a number of accolades at national level in recent years. In the 2015/16 financial year, the accolades and innovation continued, including:

  • National EPWP KAMOSO 2015 Awards: Best Municipality in the Social Sector
  • Woman in Construction Award: Most Innovative Woman Training Programme Award
  • Development of the EPWP Braille Induction Booklet for EPWP jobseekers who are fully or partially visually impaired

‘We are immensely proud of our achievements thus far, but we cannot rest on our laurels. There are still many unemployed people in our city who need work opportunities to give themselves and their families a financial boost. So we will continue to push ourselves to find even more creative and sustainable ways to make this programme count in the lives of our residents,’ said Councillor Little.

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