Question NW964 to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure

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16 April 2021 - NW964

Profile picture: Hicklin, Ms MB

Hicklin, Ms MB to ask the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure

(1)With reference to the efforts made by her department to ensure that youth and women are empowered and given work opportunities by her department, what is the percentage of (a) women and (b) youth recruited and/or provided with work opportunities under the current Expanded Public Works Programme by public bodies; (2) whether her department has met its targets in this regard; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?


The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure:

1. (a) I have been informed by the Department that for the period 1 April 2020 – 31 December 2020, a total of 515 862 work opportunities have been reported through the EPWP Reporting System across all the spheres of Government and the four (4) EPWP sectors. Of the 515 862 work opportunities, 68% of work opportunities (i.e. 349 311) were for women empowered in the programme.

(b) In the same reporting period, 44% of work opportunities (i.e. 225 753) were accounted for youth empowerment.


2. The target for women is 60% and the target for youth is 55%, which means that the EPWP programme, which is coordinated by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has managed to exceed the women target, but has been unable to reach the youth target.

The rationale for achieving the targets on women participation is attributed to the nature of the Programmes implemented. For example, the Provincial Roads Programme has contributed 102 336 work opportunities out of the 515 862 work opportunities, this means 20% of the total work opportunities came from the Provincial Roads Programme. The Provincial Roads Programme is a routine road maintenance programme, mainly located in rural areas and has a 75% ratio of work opportunities (i.e. 77 037) going to women, whilst only attracting 23% youth (i.e. 23 826). Based on the nature of the work in this programme which entails cleaning of the road surface, clearing of drains & channels and clearing & cleaning of verges, a lot of youth do not find this type of programme attractive.

Furthermore, programmes such as the Home Based Community Care (HBCC) contributed 60 857 work opportunities toward the 515 862 work opportunities. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of work opportunities (i.e. 53 774) were awarded to women, whilst only 27% of the work opportunities were provided to the youth (i.e. 16 681). In this programme, the nature of work entails caring for the poor, elderly and sick through house visits, the provision of palliative care and patient referrals and most youth do not find this work attractive.

However, there are Programmes within EPWP that have high youth participation and these programmes are the National Youth Service, the NPO Programme, Tourism & Creative Industries, Mass Participation and Sustainable Land Based Livelihoods which are implemented on a smaller scale than the above-mentioned programmes and collectively contribute to 84 820 work opportunities.

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