A total of 938 688 work opportunities have been created through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) during 2020/21 financial year.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), which is the lead coordinator of the EPWP, said the number of work opportunities were created through 13,496 EPWP projects implemented across four EPWP sectors, including infrastructure, non-state, environment and culture, and social.
R9.3 billion in income support paid
“Through these work opportunities, government has transferred a total of R9.3 billion, as income support to EPWP participants in the 2020/21 financial year alone,” the department said in a statement on Thursday.
During the period, the department said the EPWP non-state sector provided the highest number of work opportunities with a total of 300,494, followed by infrastructure with 266,182.
The social, and environment and culture sectors created 207,790 and 164,222 work opportunities respectively.
The department also noted that KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape continued to lead in the creation of EPWP opportunities, with the two provinces creating 219,947 and 190,706, respectively.
Over 68% women benefitted
The department further noted that more women continue to participate in the EPWP, with over 68 percent of the participants being females.
“This shows that the programme is making a meaningful contribution to the improvement of the socio-economic status of women in terms of opportunities to earn and income.
The department thanked all EPWP implementing bodies for contributing into the success of the programme, and continuing to deliver quality services to various communities in South Africa.
It also called all implementing public bodies to scale implementation of the EPWP in order to create more work opportunities that will contribute to poverty alleviation and unemployment reduction.
“With COVID-19 health pandemic leading to mass job losses globally and in the country, the government will continue to use programmes such as the EPWP to provide work opportunities to poor and unemployed South Africans, so as to contribute towards the alleviation of poverty and reduction of unemployment,” the department said.
This article originally appeared on SANews.gov.