More Community Work Programme (CWP) Sites for N. Cape

Pretoria - Three new Community Work Programme (CWP) sites are being established at Siyancuma, Umsobomvu, and Phokwane in the Northern Cape, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Andries Nel has announced.

The Deputy Minister on Tuesday said this will escalate the number of participants in the province from 13 000 to 14 000.

He was speaking at an event to mark Mandela Day at the CWP site in the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“In four days, on 18 July we mark International Mandela Day. We are committed to tackling poverty, unemployment and inequality,” he said.

The day, 18 July, has been recognised by the United Nations (UN) and people are called on to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to make a difference in communities where they live and serve others.

The theme for this year’s Mandela Day is: “Take Action and Inspire Change”.

He said the Community Work Programme was aimed at giving a hand up to the poorest in the community.

“The CWP gives the youth an opportunity to work and earn an income. The CWP will give them work experience so that they can apply for other jobs or start their own business.

“Across South Africa the CWP has provided 202 634 work opportunities. In the Northern Cape the CWP is assisting 13 000 participants at 14 sites across the province. Every month CWP puts R8.4 million into the pockets of participants,” said the Deputy Minister.

He commended the commitment shown by the leadership of the Northern Cape Provincial Government to work with national government to ensure they get the basics right in these municipalities.

“We are very happy to be here with so many CWP participants today. We are proud of the work that you are doing.

“Together we are uplifting communities and ourselves. We are aware of the challenges such as drug abuse and gangsterism in the community here. The CWP offers you a way to end these community ills and improve your own lives.”

He said government was aware that there were challenges with the timely payment of some participants, but was confident that these problems have been sorted out.

Sol Plaatje Municipality

Deputy Minister Nel commended the leadership of Sol Plaatje Municipality for turning the municipality around - in line with the Back to Basics approach.

He said the successful completion of the first phase of upgrading the municipality's water supply system over the past weekend was but one example of these efforts.

“However, the bottom third of dysfunctional municipalities face serious challenges and require urgent intervention and support to get the basics right.

“These dysfunctional municipalities are characterised by corruption, dysfunctional councils, no structured community engagement and participation systems, as well as poor financial management leading to continuous negative audit outcomes,” he said.

The analysis conducted by the joint national and provincial Back to Basics team indicated that of the 32 municipalities in the Northern Cape two are doing very well, 15 are doing okay, and 15 are dysfunctional.

“This situation requires urgent and concerted action. It is in these municipalities that there is a need to intervene urgently to ensure that they put people first, deliver a basket of basic services, practice good governance, practice sound financial management, and build capable and resilient institutions,” he said.

The Back to Basics initiative also means ensuring that municipalities have the basic capacity required to manage South Africa’s rapid urbanization and to transform apartheid spatial patterns.

“We need a new deal for our cities and towns. The legacy of apartheid spatial patterns and the challenges of rapid urbanization must be confronted through integrated urban development that is linked to the development of our rural areas.

“In doing so we must recognize the inextricable link between rural and urban development.

“We must de-racialize communities so that a new and more cohesive society can be built. All residents, black and white, must equally enjoy the benefits of development,” he said.

He said it was for this reason that government has developed an Integrated Urban Development Framework in line with the vision of the National Development Plan.