Investigating the implementation of the expanded public works programme in the Ethekwini Municipality, KZN.
Khawula, Confidence Lungile.
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Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is a cross cutting programme that is implemented by all the spheres of the government including private enterprises. It is a programme which draws a massive number of the unemployed into productive work, so that they gain skills and improve their capacity to obtain income. Its main objective is to employ public sector budgets to reduce unemployment by creating temporal productive job opportunities coupled with training. The aim of this study was to investigate the implementation of EPWP in the eThekwini municipality looking at the benefits acquired by the beneficiaries. A qualitative approach was adopted alongside a purposive sampling technique for the selection of participants in this study. A total of 7 participants were involved including both males and females from different backgrounds were interviewed. This made the collected data very informative as it constituted the perceptions of the participants drawn diverse backgrounds. Findings suggests that the beneficiaries appreciate the programme even though there may be challenges. One of the most important benefits that beneficiaries get from working on EPWP projects is monetary rewards. Findings also suggest that the beneficiaries are not happy with the duration of the programme. The participants aver that the duration of the programmes’ contracts is too short and they want the programme to continue on extended contracts. One of the key conclusions is that the beneficiaries do receive skills through education and trainings as well as work experience through this programme. The key recommendations are that programme should consider providing employment opportunities to the unemployed graduates. By doing so, the unemployed graduates would be gaining work experience and getting income to assist them in the job search for permanent employment. The municipality and the Department of Public Works should identify and consider needs to identify and provide long-term job opportunities rather than short-term ones.