Government to consider redesigning EPWP for a digitised new world of work
The government is looking at redesigning some of the programmes and projects offered through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in order to provide participants with skills required by a digitised new world of work. This statement came out of a Zoom Webinar session between the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Webinar – hosted under the theme “Re-skilling and Enterprise Development for PEPs in the era of Covid-19 and beyond” – was aimed at finding ways to drive employment and tackled poverty through the EPWP post Covid-19.
Ms Liesel Eksteen, a Development Economist Consultant, who was one of the keynote speakers in the Webinar, said the EPWP should look at utilising both human and artificial intelligence (IA) in order to drive the development and upliftment of the nation in the post Covid-19 world.
She said for the EPWP to increase employment opportunities of South Africans post Covid-19, government must look at providing participants with a combination of skills set such as emotional intelligence, use of technology in performing tasks and even advanced cognitive skills in preparing for the new digitised world of work.
Another key speaker in the Webinar, Mr Lungisani Dladla (a senior official at DPWI) said that for EPWP to continue to deliver on its mandate of tackling poverty through creation of economic opportunities for the poor and unemployed, the Government will have to look at utilising the Programme (EPWP) to drive township entrepreneurship.
He said government will have to provide development finance and support to small businesses in the townships in order to create the must needed economic opportunities and jobs for the poor.
Source: Government of South Africa