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EPWP participants earn cookery diploma

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“As I speak today, I have opened my own food kitchen. Through the EPWP, I am now able to provide for myself and for my loved ones”

SEVENTEEN young Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) participants have recently completed a three-year Diploma in Professional Cookery, graduating from the Northern Cape Rural TVET College.

The training was a collaborative undertaking by the national Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, together with the Province’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism as well as the Northern Cape Rural TVET College.

Seven of the graduates are permanently employed by various hospitality institutions in the Province, including the Protea Hotel, Kalahari Lodge and Odessa Guest House in Upington.

According to the acting head of the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Jean Wilson, the collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society was at the core of the success of the EPWP-funded training.

Speaking to the graduates, Wilson congratulated them for successfully completing their qualification and urged them to continue to take advantage of opportunities in the tourism sector.

One graduate, Portia Mothibi, said the three-year training offered them skills that they could use to lift themselves out of poverty.

“As I speak today, I have opened my own food kitchen. Through the EPWP, I am now able to provide for myself and for my loved ones,” Mothibi said.

In line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2020 State of the Nation Address (Sona) commitment to strengthen social compact, collaboration and consensus between government, the private sector and civil society in order to drive socio-economic upliftment of the people, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), through the EPWP programme, has worked with the various sectors of society to provide poor and unemployed South Africans with socio-economic opportunities.

Between April and December 2019, EPWP has created a total of 742 969 EPWP work opportunities for the poor and unemployed. This was achieved through partnership with the private sector and civil society.

These work opportunities have been created under a range of EPWP projects in the tourism and culture, infrastructure, social and non-state sectors.

Although most of these opportunities are short-term to medium-term, some have resulted in permanent employment.