BY: Mpofu Sthandile.

As part of the City of Cape Town’s efforts to empower recruits and give them a platform to reach greater heights, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has recruited 44 beneficiaries to be trained to provide literacy tuition, life skills training and support to young children in disadvantaged communities.

The City of Cape Town’s Youth Literacy and Life Skills Programme aims to support young people around Cape Town by offering assistance with reading, writing and life skills. The support and development reinforces solid foundation-phase learning, allowing children to comprehensively grasp curriculum subjects at the intermediate phase of school. The programme is implemented by the Community Services and Health Directorate in partnership with Mellon Educate, with support from the Public Empowerment and Development department within the Urban Waste Management directorate, who manage the implementation of EPWP staff.

A total of 44 EPWP beneficiaries have, through randomised selection, been chosen from the City’s jobseekers’ database to receive training and work experience to help them develop into tutors at local schools in their communities, as well as assist with holiday programmes for school children. For the 2022 period, the programme has reached 868 learners.

Training and work experience that will be provided includes training as basic reading/writing tutors and implementing Essentially Me life skills programmes. This programme was devised by the Substance Abuse Unit within Social Development and Early Childhood Development, and is aligned with principles as outlined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The Youth Literacy and Life Skills Programme also seeks to strategically engage parents to improve communications between parents and youth, as family involvement and oversight generally leads to better outcomes.

EPWP beneficiaries will also be trained in report writing, conflict management, project management, financial life skills, general life skills and administration. Through their participation in the Youth Literacy and Life Skills Programme, beneficiaries will also benefit from SAQA-accredited training and earn credits towards their qualification as early childhood development practitioners.

‘Not only does this programme employ and build the knowledge of 44 unemployed youth, it also supports hundreds of learners with reading and writing skills, and offers parent training through a system of communication, rewards and improved family relationships.

‘It thus benefits every participant in the entire developmental value chain, from the facilitator to the community at large. Along with our collaboration partners, we are excited to see the progress made by beneficiaries in the education and social sector,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

A total of R3,1 million has been budgeted for the project for the 2022/2023 financial year.

‘Cape Town continues to lead the way in maximising the development potential of the EPWP. Although EPWP opportunities provide the most vulnerable in our city with much-needed income support, we also need to use the opportunity to transfer skills, knowledge and networks that can help beneficiaries and their communities continue to grow once their term with the EPWP has concluded,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.


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