EPWP beneficiaries become full-time employees
Sixty-six former Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) beneficiaries have been appointed as full-time employees of the Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Waste Water Treatment Directorates of the Stellenbosch Municipality. A certificate ceremony was held on 13 May 2016 in Stellenbosch to celebrate this achievement.
The Municipality now has nine additional fire-fighters, 17 new law enforcement officers, and 40 more road workers. All of these new staff members are already contributing to better service delivery in the town.
This EPWP Social and Infrastructure Sector initiative was jointly funded and implemented by the national Department of Public Works, the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, and Stellenbosch Municipality. The EPWP is intended to alleviate poverty by providing an income for one year. During this time, beneficiaries also get skills training and on-the-job experience to put them into a better position to become employed.
The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch Alderman Conrad Sidego says these appointments will assist the Municipality to meet its performance targets.
“This is an opportunity for the former EPWP beneficiaries to improve their lives and grow in the Municipality,” he said.
Firefighter Rohan Brand says the EPWP gave him the exposure and experience to advance his career and also make a substantial difference in the community.
“I started as a volunteer, and was then recruited by the EPWP on contract to receive further training and on-the-job mentoring,” he said. “I had to wash the vehicles when I started, slowly learned the ropes and gained on-the-job exposure. Now I’m a proud firefighter!”
This initiative is a good example of what can be achieved through a committed partnership between the different spheres of government. All the beneficiaries were aware that being chosen to participate in the EPWP did not mean they were entitled to jobs. They had to apply when vacancies arose, and those who were shortlisted had to go for interviews.
The Department will continue to fund and support EPWP initiatives across municipalities, tertiary institutions, and other potential sites for job creation. These initiatives help to give effect to Provincial Strategic Goal 1: “create opportunities for growth and jobs”.