Public Works department fails to meet EPWP targets while families are going hungry

Issued by Jane Sithole, MPL – Spokesperson on Social Development
30 Sep 2022 in Press Releases

It has come to the DA’s attention that the Mpumalanga Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport has once again failed to meet targets of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) while our people are struggling to put food on the table.

The 2022/2023 First Quarter Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works, Roads and Transport and Community Safety, Security and Liaison revealed that the department:

•       Failed to meet the target of creating 2 307 EPWP work opportunities and only managed to create 121 work opportunities.

•       Through EPWP coordination and monitoring, they failed to ensure that the target of employing 1 260 youth was achieved by government departments. Only 97 work opportunities were reportedly created.

•       In addition to the above, they failed to ensure that 1 383 women were employed throughout the province – as only 61 employment opportunities were created.

In these tough economic times where the cost of food is continually rising, and where rolling blackouts together with the COVID-19 pandemic devastated livelihoods, the DA finds it extremely concerning that the department failed to meet EPWP targets which have been set for the first quarter.

The DA has subsequently written to department MEC, Mohita Latchminarain, asking her to urgently make use of the opportunities provided through the EPWP to provide much needed relief to the residents of this province.

In addition to the above, the DA also calls on the MEC to ensure that municipalities like Msukaligwa, Lekwa, Govan Mbeki, Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, Dr JS Moroka, Steve Tshwete and Thembisile Hani devises a strategy to remedy their slow implementation of EPWP projects as this affected the number of opportunities which were provided to the youth and women.

We also call on the MEC to take it upon herself to monitor and coordinate EPWP across the province as other government departments and municipalities are failing to do so.