By Francis Hweshe
Cape Town - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde has given an undertaking to Parliament that her department would make a major contribution towards helping government meet its job creation targets through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
The minister, along with several high profile staff, faced the Portfolio Committee on Public Works on Tuesday to present the department's 2011-2014 strategic plan.
The EPWP was projected to create 868 000 work opportunities for poor and unskilled South Africans between 2011 and 2012. Fifty-five percent of that figure is expected to be women, 40 percent youth, and two percent for people with disabilities.
In the 2012 and 2013 period, the project aims to produce over 1.2 million job opportunities, while in the 2013-2014 period; the target is over 1.6 million jobs opportunities.
By 2014, the department is hoping to have created 4.5 million job opportunities and "ongoing work opportunities with an average duration of 100 days."
However, the committee expressed concern that the EPWP had "slowed down" and delivered only 2.4 million job opportunities since its inception in 2004.