Coastal provinces are top sources of government’s EPWP jobs

The country’s coastal provinces are performing better than inland provinces when it comes to providing jobs relating to the government’s extended public works programme (EPWP). 

KZN is biggest contributor

Of the 4,609,000 work opportunities, the top three provinces where most work opportunities have been created are KwaZulu-Natal. Thee province accounts for 1,064,000 opportunities (23%). This is followed by the Eastern Cape, with 903,789 (20%). Then the Western Cape at 508,954 (11%).

This was revealed by Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Thursday during a post-cabinet briefing.

“These work opportunities have contributed to skills development for the participants. They were created under a range of EPWP projects. These are in the tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, social and projects led by women,” Ntshavheni said.

This year is 20th anniversary of the EPWP 

The minister said this as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the EPWP. She said cabinet revealed that plans were in place to achieve more. This plan involves the remaining 390,973 work opportunities by March 2024.

The year 2024 marks 20 years of the existence of the EPWP. The programme represents one of South Africa’s success stories of mass public employment programmes. It is by far one of the largest poverty alleviation initiatives.

Ntshavheni said cabinet received a briefing on the implementation and achievements of the EPWP. It’s a flagship government programme that has provided millions of work opportunities to unemployed South Africans since its inception.

Millions of job opportunities created by EPWP
“Cabinet was informed that 4,609,000 work opportunities were created during the Phase 4 medium-term of the EPWP. This covers the period 2019/2020 – 2022/2023. 

“This figure represents a 92% achievement against the target set by the Sixth Administration. The target to create 5 million work opportunities. Plans are in place to achieve the remaining 390,973 work opportunities by March 2024,” said Ntshavheni.

The EPWP has over the past 20 years created over 14 million work opportunities.  This makes it the largest continuous public employment programme in the world. 

The milestone was achieved through ongoing partnerships with the private sector and civil society.

Job opportunities in various fields, skills

She said while most of these opportunities are short- to medium-term; some have resulted in permanent employment. Figures also indicate that more than 20% of participants obtained employment outside the EPWP. 

Many past EPWP participants have successfully completed diplomas in fields such as professional cookery. Some are permanently employed in the hospitality industry. In addition, EPWP also contributes much more in terms of service delivery. Also on  improvements of amenities in communities and a better quality of life. 

Over R52-billion has been transferred to the EPWP participants as wages for work done in Phase 4. In addition, over 600 businesses were established through the programme.


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