An Expanded Public Works Programme is a short-term initiative by our municipality, aimed to create work opportunities for the marginalized more specially women, youth and people with disabilities. By bridging, the gap between the first and second economy was to be achieved not through creating permanent work opportunities but through skilling and training all who participate in EPWP.
EPWP has currently four Sectors, which are:
These Sectors has various sub-programmes that will include but not limited to Firefighting or Working on Fire with many more other sub-programmes. What is also important is the fact that there are targets to be met such as, 55% Women, 55% Youth and 2% People with Disabilities.
Bitou Municipality has for the past 7 years built a Database of unemployed people, which in many instances is referred to as EPWP Database. The database is captured per ward and it is updated on regular basis as the database forms are filled daily in various municipal offices. Some of the features in the database include highest grade past, skills acquired, and whether the person worked previously in one of the EPWP projects.
In order to participate, EPWP are chosen from the database with no clear criteria. Currently the Municipal Manager has instructed the LED to draft a recruitment policy for EPWP, and it must be tabled in the October 2018 Council. People living with disability must not be neglected in the programme due to their conditions will be chosen from the database unless declare as such when they are already called to resume duties.
The Expanded Public Works Programme must draw people without skills who are poor and unemployed whether for firefighting or water maintenance. Through the programme, those participants must exit with a skill for them to be employable in future. It must also be remembered that EPWP participants do not replace vacant permanent positions whether budgeted or not in the organogram. Should EPWP participants be people that have the skill already, it would mean that the purpose EPWP existence is defeated.
Lastly, Fire Fighting has numerous other duties that can be performed on daily basis such as maintenance of fire hydrants, cleaning and daily checking of vehicles, construction of firebreaks, removal of alien plants and trees and mopping up after fires. These duties does not exclude people with chronicle conditions that includes heart diseases although not limited to and declared fit for work by a medical doctor.
Issued By: Mr. James Sijama on behalf of
Mr TC Ndlovu
Municipal Manager of Bitou Local Municipality