Minister Nkadimeng Outlines The Framework For A More Impactful And Sustainable Community Work Programme (CWP)

The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Administration (CoGTA) led by Minister Thembi Nkadimeng today 31st May 2023, presented a framework on the review of the Community Work Programme (CWP) to a special Portfolio Committee workshop in Cape Town. “We appreciate an opportunity to engage in a review and restructuring of our flagship program, the CWP”, said Minister Nkadimeng.

CWP is a community-driven government-wide initiative that is premised on partnerships to offer labour-intensive work targeting particularly the poorest. The primary objective of the programme since its inception in 2010, is to provide a safety net to poor, unemployed and under-employed people by providing them with regular and predictable work (opportunities) enabling them to earn a monthly wage.

Admittedly, notwithstanding its noble intentions and progressive policy outlook, the CWP has faced numerous governance and implementation-related challenges, some of which pertain to fragmented policy implementation as well as weaknesses in project and programme monitoring and evaluation.

As part of corrective measures and remedial actions, the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) has instituted transitional arrangements leading up to the futuristic proposition on how we reposition the programme so that it achieves its intended fundamental objectives.

The repositioning framework aims to prioritise deliverables that are aligned to impactful work in support of municipal service delivery and economically viable enterprises as well as quality training that will aid the exit strategy of participants into sustainable livelihoods.

The CWP currently benefits over 260 000 participants throughout the country, who mainly are the poorest and most vulnerable in society. This army of participants will contribute towards supporting municipalities to deliver sustainable services in sectors such as Road Maintenance (e.g., Patching of Potholes and Grass Cutting); Solid Waste Management and Recycling; attending to Water Leaks and Sewerage Spillages.

Furthermore, the programme will undertake useful work in the social sector to champion projects that enhance food security through community gardening and Early Childhood Development to nurture academic progression as well as provide Home-Based Care to the aged and frail.

Additionally, enterprise development and entrepreneurship will be key, especially in sunrise ventures including the ICT and Digital services and evergreen economic projects such as Brick making, Sewing, and Bakeries including commercialised agrarian projects (e.g., poultry, goats, etc.) that are largely undertaken by communities for subsistence.

The CWP remains an essential initiative in the fight against the perennial challenges of poverty exacerbated by unemployment and inequality. It is thus, of utmost importance that the multiple role players comprising the provincial local government and economic development departments, municipalities as well as civil society organisations take ownership of this catalytic developmental programme to ensure effective and efficient implementation as such value for money and impactful community beneficiation.

Ultimately, CWP must reflect the noble policy outputs of skilling participants to optimise their work outputs and equip them with life skills to enhance their employability and self-employment prospects. Most of all, the programme should contribute to the development and maintenance of public assets and the provision of services in poor communities by strengthening community participation in decision-making around development.

As the contracts of Implementing Agents (IA) came to an end, the Department intends to reconfigure the programme to ensure that it is impactful. The work that was done by the IAs has been taken over by the Department and directly contracted the provincial, district and site staff that were previously contracted by the IAs.

The take-over is planned to last for a period of twelve months, which will give the department an opportunity to evaluate the programme and address all its gaps.

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ISSUED BY: Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)