The business of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the social sector
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An increasing number of people are becoming conversant with the aims and goals of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). These numbers, however, constitute a far cry from the desired critical mass of the target people whom the
EPWP is intended to benefit. Beyond the promise and expectation of a million jobs, the quality of this awareness remains nascent and emerging. What is required is an accompanying effort aimed at enhancing a deeper understanding, knowledge and
practice based on the nature of the EPWP in general, and its extension to the Social Sector in particular.
Contributing to this understanding is the now familiar definition that the EPWP is one part of an overall government strategy to reduce poverty through the alleviation and reduction of unemployment. It is a deliberate approach so that participants gain
the necessary skills, increase their capacity to earn an income and increase their chances of getting gainful employment or embarking on sustainable entrepreneurial activities at a community level. Furthermore, it is also one of the key interventions in
the second economy to address the social and economic inequities. This meaning of the EPWP is as true for the infrastructure sector as it is for the economic, the environmental and cultural sector. Extended to the social sector, the meaning has, unwittingly, yet to manifest the far salient and profound role of the EPWP in this sector.