Durban – The City has sought to extend contracts entered into with the beneficiaries under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), during the 2022/23 financial year.
This was revealed during the City’s full council sitting at the ICC on Thursday.
The councillors said this was to allow the City Manager to enter into and sign a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, in order to receive the incentive grant for the EPWP operations during the 23023/24 financial year.
EFF ward 94 PR councillor Nhlanhla Motseke queried the EPWP programme, asking the council why the City did not take control of this programme instead of giving it contractors. He said that most of the workers in the programme found themselves having to “beg“ for these jobs, which are paying them little.
He made a suggestion that a minimum amount of R6 000 be paid to them as most of these workers had families that depend on them and were mostly breadwinners in their households.
eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said that the City was determined to ensure that this programme was extended, as it benefited a lot of people of eThekwini.
“We know that most of our people lack job opportunities, therefore the issue of employing the EPWP workers on a permanent basis will be looked into,” Kaunda stressed.
He said there was a need to conduct awareness campaigns to inform the citizens about all social relief packages provided by the municipality, including assistance given to vulnerable groups in terms of the indigent policy.
Councillors also appealed for engagements to be resuscitated between provincial departments of education and public works to consider repairs to water bursts in Section 21 schools and payments for municipal services.
On the issue of service delivery, the chairperson advised that efforts were continuously being made to turn around the status of the City’s economy, also citing that the performance agreements for senior managers will be revived to include processes.
The council stated that the reduced electricity revenue was due to customers opting for alternative energy sources, making reference to solar energy, and generator usage and that water losses were also due to the unqualified and unmeasured water supplied through standpipes and ablution facilities.
An assurance was given that the backlog on the installation of both electricity and water meters will be addressed.
“The revenue collection will be intensified, including disconnection of services in crowded buildings to force property owners to come forward and make necessary payment arrangements.”
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