Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. File picture: Department of Communications

Cape Town - Around 1.5 million jobs have been created through Phase 3 of the government's Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Tuesday.

“Since the inception of the EPWP Phase 3 in April 2014, about 1.5 million work opportunities have been created against a set target of six million work opportunities by 2019,” said Dlamini, while briefing journalists in her role as chairwoman of the government's social protection, community and human development cluster.

“Amongst its major contribution towards the provision of services and assets, the EPWP has maintained over 40 000km of provincial access roads and serviced 595 schools through food production gardeners operating within the national school nutrition programme.”

In 2014, Jacob Zuma announced the government's plans to create six million jobs by the end of his presidency in 2019 through the EPWP, a scheme which many of his detractors, specifically opposition parties, called “a pipedream” at the time.