JOHANNESBURG - A female contract who is part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) was on Thursday shot and injured while working on the Northcliff Ridge.

The EPWP is a government-funded programme that helps create job opportunities for communities. The Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) uses this programme to clean and clear fire-breaks and invasive plants along the Northcliff Ridge and other areas.

The woman was among a team of 40 workers deployed to a section of Northcliff Ridge when was shot and wounded.

“As the City of Joburg we are outraged that one of our EPWP personnel, a woman, has been attacked in the course of rendering much-needed services to the community," said Councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba, a Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Development in the City of Johannesburg.

"This is a senseless and cowardly act by people who do not want to see our beautiful City clean and progressing. It is regrettable that these criminals would resort to cowardly acts such as ambushing people in the line of duty.”  

The unprovoked shooting incident comes after a similar incident in the same area on 22 February, where another EPWP employee was shot and wounded. 

“As the head of this portfolio, I condemn this in the strongest terms” stated Sifumba.

The Councillor said the South African Police Services (SAPS), K9 Unit and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) responded "with speed " after a witness identified the alleged shooter, who resides in Maluti Street, along the border of the protected area that was being cleared.

“I can confirm that SAPS has subsequently made an arrest, and JCPZ will keep a close watch on the proceeding to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to book and faces the full might of the law. It cannot be that we allow hard-working residents of this city to be gunned down like this” said Sifumba.

African News Agency/ANA