Government has revealed that more than 3 000 work opportunities have already been created for poor and vulnerable communities as a result of its Food for Waste Programme.
The programme is aimed at helping municipalities to render waste collection services in areas where the municipalities are incapable of providing such a service, while at the same time generate job opportunities, fight hunger and poverty, promote a clean environment and promote recycling, waste reduction and reuse.
The programme is presently being rolled out in nine provinces in 30 municipalities and has thus far been able to create in excess of 3 000 job opportunities.
It was initiated and put in place by the Department of Public Works together with the Independent Development Trust as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), under the environmental sector.
Talking about exactly how the programme functions during a Social Protection and Community Development Cluster briefing last Tuesday, Public Works spokesperson, Lucky Mochalibane, stated that individuals in the local community collected waste, which they handed over to their local offices in exchange for food vouchers.
He outlined that waste was weighed and local community members were supplied with food vouchers accordingly. Government was running the programme together with local grocery stores and food chains.
In the mean time, with the successful implementation of the first phase of the EPWP, government intends to implement the second EPWP at an advanced stage, said Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.
She pointed out that since the start of the current financial year, in excess of 308 000 job opportunities had been created via the programme, with the vast majority of the work created in infrastructure.
Dlamini said steps defined in phase two will refocus government’s resources to make sure that growth of further job opportunities in other programmes including community safety, mass participation in sport, Khari Gude Mass Literacy project, School Nutrition Programme and cemetery management programme and waste management.
She further mentioned that the recent Cabinet Lekgotla identified the Community Works Programme among the crucial job creation and service delivery improvement programmes.
“Between April 2010 and March this current year, the programme created 89 689 jobs across 45 municipalities covering 417 wards throughout the country. These measures are an indication of the proactive strategic approach the cluster has taken by investing in labour intensive programmes to boost job creation.
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