13 April 2017

South Africa: Public Works to Accelerate Fight Against Poverty, Unemployment

Pretoria — Public Works Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says he is confident his department will accelerate the fight against poverty and unemployment through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Minister Nhleko and his deputy Jeremy Cronin have recently been briefed by senior managers in the department on progress being made in the fight against poverty and youth unemployment, particular through the EPWP.

Since 2014, EPWP has created over two million work opportunities, with over a million South African youths being major beneficiaries.

The Department of Public Works wants to create over 1.4 million work opportunities under the same programme.

"I am confident that we are on our way towards meeting the target of having created six million work opportunities by the end of March 2019. The task of tackling youth unemployment and unemployment generally requires not just government, but the collective will and innovation of the private sector as well.

"I therefore urge corporate South Africa to fully embrace and play their part by joining hands with us to help secure our future through creating more opportunities for the skilling and employment of our people. So much is possible if we work towards common and lasting solutions," Minister Nhleko said.

He also urged senior managers in his department to work harder at driving initiatives to empower young graduates and new entrants in the built environment sector.

"For radical socio-economic transformation to be meaningful, the construction and entire built environment sector must take a lead, especially through skills training for the youth and advancing broad-based black economic empowerment," he said.

On May 16, Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko will deliver his maiden Budget Vote in his new portfolio.

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