As the Political Champion for the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) at Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), Executive Mayor Cllr Memory Booysen recently initiated a workshop with internal and external stakeholders, aimed at providing them with a better knowledge and understanding of EPWP. A workshop, which was held on 6 June 2018, also sought to institutionalise EPWP within the organisation and therefore, this platform was used to enable Eden DM to coordinate EPWP for the entire region.
The Eden DM Council committed to an EPWP vision that strives to achieve long-term socio–economic goals, through the empowerment of youth and designated groups within the district. Council also strongly agrees that a multi- sectoral and all-inclusive approach must be utilised, to ultimately achieve the goals of the programme.
Representatives from the National and Provincial Department of Public Works were invited to present on the following topics.
• A Historical Overview of the EPWP Programme;
• The Current National Stance;
• Recruitment and Selection Guidelines; and
• Funding Models.
After presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to pose questions, which in many cases prompted robust discussions amongst attendees. The representative from the National Department of Public Works enlightened Council about all the different processes, which form part of the 4th phase EPWP Plans and informed them about the consultation process scheduled for 26 June 2018.
In conclusion, Mr Monde Stratu, Eden DM Municipal Manager, emphasised the fact that although the EPWP Programme is a political programme, it must not be politicised. He furthermore explained that the Programme does not belong to one department, but needs to be an organisational programme. He acknowledges the linkage between Skills Development, Training and EPWP, elaborating on the fact that Eden DM plan to develop the region into a Skills Mecca.
In stipulating the way forward, Council recommended that the Eden DM EPWP Section engage on the following processes:
Coordinate the EPWP or other employment programmes and be point of entry (contact) for other sectors in the region.
Review the current EPWP Policy and include the structure, its dual reporting and ensure compliance to the Ministerial Determination.
That the EPWP Section, through its Executive Manager re-inforce the Internal Steering Committee.
EPWP must form part of the agenda of the Executive Committees of Council and Management.
That Eden DM should strengthen Institutional arrangements to coordinate EPWP within the Municipality and ensure that EPWP Champions are appointed for all departments within the Municipalities.
EPWP targets for Phase 3 should be included in the scorecards/performance agreements of Heads of Departments and the Municipal Manager.
Regular feedback to Council, the Municipal Manager and Senior Management on EPWP progress.
Continued Technical support be provided by National- and Western Cape Department of Public Works in order to assist the Municipality.
That Council commit its support for more capacity within the EPWP Section.
- Eden DM EPWP Section must focus on sustainable livelihood in terms of training and SMME development of the beneficiaries.
According to the EPWP Manager and organisers, the workshop managed to achieve the envisaged objective Council expected and they embark to have more sessions of this nature in future.