By TOTO TSARNEBA
Just under 1000 Makhandans are employed part-time by the Community Works Programme (CWP) at a cost of R12.4-million a year.
CWP managers recently met with Makana ward councillors.
Wanda Mboleka, the CWP Site Manager under SAYM (South African Youth Movement) in Makana Municipality, said they had not received the Budget for the financial year from COGTA. Wanda said 90% of the budget is spent on participants’ salaries, and the remainder is spent on PPE, tools and materials, technical support, and training. Wanda said the money that they get is not enough. “The budget is not enough; we are calling for local businesses to contribute to buying more tools and material for the participants to work more effectively and efficiently,” he said.
According to Mboleka the primary objective of the CWP programme is to provide a safety net to poor, unemployed and under-employed people in Makhanda by providing them with regular and predictable work (opportunities), enabling them to earn a monthly wage. Reportedly the field workers of the CWP are presently earning R105 a day for two days a week, eight days a month, and the supervisor’s rate is R130 for 20 days a month.
The CWP workers undertake different tasks, and Wanda said the work is usually multi-sectoral (undertaken across departmental mandates and spheres) and responds to priorities set at the local level. Generally, a set of anchor activities are identified, activities which are ongoing and provide core work. Examples of the work undertaken at CWP sites include the following:
• Developing and maintaining productive food gardens (household and community).
• Environmental clean-ups
• Home- and community-based care work.
• Support schools in cleaning classrooms and outside maintenance of school premises
• Assistance in classrooms, creches/ ECD Centres
• Cleaning of school facilities.
• Clearing of bush and overgrown areas,
• Maintenance of community and homestead gardens,
• Seedlings planted and maintained,
• Fencing community or homestead gardens, schools, clinics, community halls,
• Repairing access roads and pavements, street and road cleaning,
• Cleaning of illegal dumpsites.
• Cleaning of community halls/ churches,
• Making and maintenance of parks
• Provide Home- Based Care,
• Providing labour to maintain food security for vulnerable households; etc
Mr Mboleka said the Site office recognises the hard work of the people who are doing the work of the CWP workers, and he will be engaging their Ward Councillors as the CWP operates in wards.
Some artists have been going around Makhanda painting around the streets, and Mr Mboleka said collaborations with artists is always welcomed. He believes with a well-coordinated approach; they can make a difference. “Can I also twist the arm of the artists to come to our Townships in Joza and Fingo to maintain our infrastructure and transfer skills to our youth as well” he said.
He further said as CWP they would like these people to be part of the programme as they have shown dedication, hard work, and resiliency. “I would recommend that they approach and indicate to their Ward Councillors that they would like to be part of the CWP programme,” he said.
Mr Mboleka said the participants of CWP have received training in the following short courses. First aid, Supervisory training, work for a living training, sewing, end-user, poultry training, mixed farming training, painting, and storekeeper training as this programme aims to improve the lives of the unemployed.
The Makana CWP Site office would love soon for the participants to recycle paper, glass, and plastic as they collect them daily, “we would also like to clean up and turn illegal dumping sites into community gardens”, he said.
Going forward, the programme will focus more on Food and Nutrition Security support for the most marginalised and vulnerable in Makhanda communities, including labour support to HIV/AIDS-affected households, orphans and vulnerable children, child-headed households, and people with disabilities,” he said.
In the meeting held on the 26 April, many councillors supported the mapping of work, such as cleaning parks and building sporting and recreational facilities such as Bodyweight exercise stations in parks. Ward 4 councillor Geoff Embling has volunteered to assist with the mapping project and building of bodyweight exercise training stations. In addition, Mr Mboleka said for infrastructure; the programme will work with its stakeholders to repair and maintain indigent homes, fix potholes, maintain churches, community parks, and many other tasks to keep the Makhanda in a good state.