Community Works Programme (CWP) projects benefit Gauteng's most needy areas

12 Oct 2010

The MEC for Economic Development, Firoz Cachalia and the Executive Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, Councillor Ntombi Mekgwe launched the Community Works Programme (CWP) at Tembisa, Ekurhuleni today.

The CWP is a new addition to government's public employment programmes. It is an area-based programme, designed as an employment 'safety net' -offering a minimum level of regular and predictable work to those who need it in poor communities. The participants will be paid R50 per person for two working days at a maximum of 100 days per year.

Strategic oversight of the programme is provided by a steering committee currently made up of representatives from the Presidency, Department of Social Development (SDS), Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Department of Public Works (DPW) and National Treasury. COGTA is the home of CWP and provides programme management through implementing agencies such as Seriti Institute.

MEC Cachalia said, "This is a model that we adopted from COGTA and we are delighted that the Gauteng Provincial Government pilot sites took off efficiently here in Tembisa, Katlehong and Etwatwa in Daveyton. The priority is to target the most marginalised areas first; however the potential exists for the CWP to reach every municipality in the province. Optimum participation is envisaged and it is set to grow by 1000 people per site per annum to an average of 4000 in each participating municipality. We have set aside an amount of R32 882 824 for this financial year alone and significant financial commitments have been made over the next four years.

The Community Works Programme (CWP) is a direct employment creation programme, aimed at addressing the current high levels of unemployment while addressing some of the structural employment characteristics underpinning both the South African economy as well as the Gauteng provincial economy. The CWP aims to create real jobs in communities, which also assists in building communities and improving the access to services and infrastructure. This in turn acts as a trigger for expanding business formation and increasing incomes in the poorest of areas.

The focus on direct employment creation initiatives by government represents a significant departure from the approaches taken in the past, which have focused on creating an income stream to the poorest.

The CWP is based on a methodology that promotes stable and predictable income streams, as a basis and anchor for developing opportunities by trapping and recycling these income streams in the community in which they are earned.

More importantly, this programme works within the ward structures at community level. Ward structures identify the type of work that needs to be done and who should do this work. As a result of this, the by-product of this initiative is to enhance and strengthen ward structures of local government. Typical programmes include:

  • A strong focus on food security
  • Home-based care
  • Care of orphans and vulnerable children
  • Environmental rehabilitation and maintenance
  • Informal settlement upgrading
  • Partnerships with schools to provide maintenance, labour for food gardens, to use unemployed matriculants to supervise homework classes, recreation activities etc...

The programme will supplement other livelihood strategies rather than replace or displace them. The CWP uses community development approaches to identify useful work at the local level which helps to build community participation in local development planning and to fast track the delivery of priorities identified at community levels. There are two potential benefits stemming from these opportunities. Firstly, increased spending by the new income earners supports retailers and therefore supplies, and creates consumption driven multipliers. Secondly, this may give rise to the development of different businesses and co-operatives, against the security of this new, reliable income stream. In other words, now that there is a reliable income stream, it may reduce the risk in these communities to engage in new economic activity.

For more information contact:
Siphiwe Hlope
Tel:011 355 8150
Cell: 082 411 9229

Source: Sapa 

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