Many have lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, on the other hand, the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works has created 11 314 jobs for residents through the expanded public works programme (EPWP).
Richard Petersen, Chief Director of the EPWP noted that the pandemic has also created an opportunity to implement 354 Covid-19-related projects.“Stakeholders re-prioritised funding to roll out Covid-19 advocacy and sanitisation projects and unemployed participants were able to claim from the UIF-Ters facility,” he said.
Committee member, Brett Herron wanted to know what role the department plays in ensuring fairness in the allocation of EPWP opportunities, repeating claims he made in the legislature that such opportunities are being politicised in the Saldanha Municipality ahead of the by-elections in November.
In response to Herron’s concerns, Petersen said: “We can’t police it as we are not in a position to, but what we have done is to carry out advocacy in municipalities around the issue of transparency. My view is that the policing of such matters should happen in implementing bodies”.
“We rolled out phases 1 to 3 in the space of a year, but the roll-out of phase 4B took another three years as a result of budget cuts and the illegal operations that plague the minibus taxi industry,” said Head of operations Deidre Ribbonaar. The committee was also briefed on the status of the George-integrated public transport network, requirements for the implementation of further phases and the major challenges it faces.