LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PUBLIC WORKS
The debate in South Africa on the high unemployment rate has always been coupled with the issue that the country had inherited a very low skills base subsequent to the apartheid regime. Government officially launched the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in 2003 which was implemented in Provinces in 2004, as one of the short to medium term measures to combat unemployment. A key element of skills development was attached to these programmes. The aim of my research was to explore the skills acquired by the end beneficiaries employed on the Government’s Public Works Programme. The Soshanguve Working for Wetlands Project was used as a case study. Aside from being identified as an EPWP, the choice of utilising the Wetlands Project as a case study was also as a result of a skills component being an essential aspect to the Project from its very inception in 2000. The main findings of this research was that it was difficult to implement the legislative provisions for training in EPWPs, production was prioritised over training, the training did not translate into better employability opportunities for the end beneficiaries, scheduling of training and the high illiteracy rate of end beneficiaries were important factors that excluded them from participation. Moreover integration challenges existed between the various planning and implementing role-players. The implication of this is that some of these factors ultimately impacted negatively on the provision of the training and also contributed towards the training being ineffectual in the longer-term.
MM - P&DM
Public works programmes , Skills development