EPWP beneficiaries develop new skills at cultural facilities
Twenty-eight men and women between the ages of 16 and 36 participated in a workshop for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) beneficiaries at the Groot Drakenstein Cultural Facility in Paarl from 28 October until 1 November 2019.
The participants are appointed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and are currently stationed at DCAS’s cultural facilities across the province from Koekenaap to Oudtshoorn. Most of these EPWP beneficiaries are matriculants who are responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the facilities during a 12-month contract.
The workshop consisted of a well-planned introduction which provided participants with a wider perspective of the mandate of the Department, its public entity, the Western Cape Cultural Commission (WCCC) and where the cultural facilities fit in. It also saw participants getting acquainted with work etiquette which governs social behaviour within the work environment to enable beneficiaries to present themselves correctly in work situations.
The workshop provided First Aid Level 1 training, diversity management and training in financial literacy with the main purpose of enhancing their chances of employability in the mainstream work force.
“This job is the best thing that has ever happened to me because I am a single mother who must provide for two kids. I have learnt a lot while being in this position. My contract has been extended and the supervisor is teaching me now how to manage the facility”, said Davidene Katra from Okkie Jooste Cultural Facility in Stellenbosch.
Yanelisa Jamani, having worked at the same facility in Stellenbosch for one month, said with a smiling face: “After studying political science and gender studies at UCT I couldn’t find a job. This is a humble beginning, but I took this opportunity in government so that I can move up and build my future”. Yanelisa was appointed as a groundsman.
Wilfred Hefke has worked at the Schoemanspoort Facility in Oudtshoorn for the past 3 months. He commented on the workshop as follows: “My supervisors are training me to maintain and clean the facility which is currently under renovation until mid-November and I am very grateful to attend this workshop”, he said.
The humble but inspirational journey of Juanita Conradie from a EPWP beneficiary to a permanently appointed government staff member at the Bien Donné Cultural Facility in Simondium was shared with the group in order to encourage the participants to invest in themselves through training and to make the most of opportunities to better their lives.
EPWP Project Manager Lizahn Claasen stressed the value of the programme. “The EPWP focuses on skills development and providing temporary work opportunities to unemployed people to assist with reducing the levels of poverty and unemployment in the Western Cape”, she said.
DCAS gives people the opportunity to participate in the EPWP programme. Communities should encourage the youth to use these opportunities to reach their full potential. Let us nurture and develop the skills of our youth, BETTER TOGETHER.