Paul Willemburg MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Infrastructure Development
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in Gauteng is largely failing to deliver on jobs in the province. According to the latest Annual Report the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development, the EPWP suffers from chronic lags between its targets and outputs.
Across the Gauteng Provincial Government the programme failed to provide almost 12 000 jobs less than the envisaged target. It is equally embarrassing that the provincial government as a whole only employed 129 people with disabilities out of the 1 037 target.
The Department of Infrastructure Development itself failed to provide almost 4 500 or 40% of the t argeted number of jobs in the EPWP’s 11 500 target, and employed only 7 people with disabilities out of the 231 targeted.
In terms of skills development and training only 40% or 592 people of the 1 431 targeted were actually capacitated with skills.
The department also has no way to measure the sustainability of its employment schemes at present as no such assessments have been carried out.
The EPWP in Gauteng is a large, unwieldy programme unable to meet its mandate. Since the EPWP is the closest thing that government has to a strategy to combat unemployment, this is extremely worrying.
The DA believes that public works programmes can be part of a solution to the crisis of unemployment in South Africa. However such programmes must be effectively managed, implemented and monitored to ensure meaningful and sustainable employment and training benefits for those participating in the project.