26 May 2016
Programme Director, MMC Bheki Zulu,
Premier of Mpumalanga province, Mr David Mabuza,
Cogta MEC Ms Refilwe Mtsweni and other MECs present,
Executive Mayors and Mayors,
Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.
Yesterday, President Zuma commemorated Africa Day, under the theme for this year, “Building a better Africa and a Better World.”
We are doing our part, as the government of South Africa, to build that better Africa and better world.
It was prominent anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko who said:
“In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift – a more human face.”
The Community Work Programme (CWP) displays that “human face.”
It displays our Ubuntu.
It displays that we are a government that cares for the poorest of the poor.
This has been a feature of this ANC-led government since 1994.
Since we came to power we have ensured that we have changed the lives of all citizens for the better.
The share of households accessing electricity increased from 69,7 percent in 2001 to 86 percent in 2014.
5,8 million households have received electricity.
Over 2 million indigent households benefit from the provision of electricity through indigent support systems.
The provision of water infrastructure increased from 61,3 percent to 90 percent.
Free basic water services expanded from over 7 million citizens in 2007, to over 11 million in 2013.
Access to basic sanitation services increased from 62 percent in 2002 to over 79 percent in 2014.
These are just some of our achievements.
On the 5th of December 2015 we marked only 15 years of democratic local government.
In that time we’ve sought to turn local government from an instrument of apartheid repression to one that delivers services to all citizens.
The Community Work Programme, which was started in 2009, is an essential element of this.
While the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) offers short-term work opportunities, the CWP offers regular and predictable income over a longer period of time.
This usually takes the form of 2 work days per week, or eight work days per month.
In 2011/12, the CWP created 105 000 work opportunities.
In 2012/13, 204 000 work opportunities were created.
In the last financial year, over 220 000 regular work opportunities were created.
It is important to mention that the CWP does not replace government’s social grants programme, but rather supplements it.
This means that you can still collect your grant and be a part of the CWP.
We are committed to uplifting our poor.
The CWP now provides work opportunities at 212 sites in 198 municipalities.
In the past financial year we added 30 new CWP sites.
In the past year R1,6 billion went into the pockets of the poor.
CWP will receive close to R3.2 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.
Ninety-five per cent of this will go towards implementation.
Only five percent is spent on administration by the department.
By March 2017, we intend adding CWP sites to another 38 municipalities.
This will bring the number of municipalities implementing CWP to 236.
I am glad that the Mbombela Local Municipality is also a beneficiary of the CWP.
CWP has operated successfully here since 2012.
It has formed a number of partnerships with non-governmental organisations, schools, the private sector and national government departments.
These fruitful partnerships include those with Liberty Life, Standard Bank, Capitec Bank, Nedbank, Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration (Dardla), Mbuyane Tribal Authority and the Mpumalanga Parks Board, to name a few.
The banks have assisted in training participants in financial literacy and business skills
They have also allowed them to open bank accounts without depositing any money.
The Department of Agriculture trains CWP participants in agricultural skills and also provide seeds on availability.
They also assisted with the opening of Cooperatives in a number of wards.
The Mayibuye Tribal Authority donated land for the building of a Youth Development centre and Drop-in centre.
The Mpumalanga Parks Board have trained participants in Travel and Tourism.
I wish the media would take the time to report on these successful ventures that show business, civil society and government working together to build a better Africa and a better world.
I am also delighted to note that women form 70 percent of the CWP participants in this area.
Youth participants stand at 33 percent.
The number of disabled participants stand at 21 people.
These stories rarely make the headlines.
But we know that we are making a difference in the lives of people – which is why we consistently win elections.
On Monday I proclaimed the election date of 3 August 2016.
I hope that you have registered to vote.
If you have not already registered to vote, it means that you will not be able to participate in the local government elections this year.
For all those who have registered, I urge you to go out to vote in your numbers on 3rd August, for the party that has shown that it cares for you.
Residents of Mbombela,
Unlike other public employment programmes, the CWP solicits the input of the citizens of the area in determining the work to be carried out.
This ensures that not only are community members provided with employment and an income, but that the whole community benefits from the work of the CWP.
The CWP participants provide assistance to 29 Early Childhood Development centres in Mbombela.
This includes ensuring that children have enough to eat and the care of Orphan and Vulnerable Children.
I am glad to have joined the Premier, MEC and Executive Mayor in officially opening the pre-school at Khumbula that was built by CWP participants.
The CWP continues to touch lives, with 64 schools in the municipality benefitting from its work.
This includes the use of scholar patrols, cleaning of classrooms and toilets, fixing doors and desks and the establishment of food gardens.
We are indeed building a better Africa and a better world.
In the agricultural sector, 64 Communal gardens were established, with 17 of these being major gardens.
The produce from these gardens feeds poor households.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are making a difference in the lives of our citizens.
The CWP does more than provide jobs or an income.
It restores the dignity of those who have been told that they were unemployable.
It restores the dignity of whole communities, as they work together to uplift themselves.
It serves as a stepping-stone for participants to establish their own businesses, through the experience gained.
It serves as springboard for more formal or other employment.
It is empowering those who are seemingly forgotten by the majority of society, those who live far from our social networks or the eyes of the media.
It is building a better Africa and a better world.
This is true local government in action.
This is placing local government in the hands of our citizens.
Let’s work together to continue on this path.
Let’s restore our people’s dignity and give this government a more human face.