City prepares EPWP workers

Mayoral committee members and EPWP ambassadors came together to speak about a new project.

The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department launched the Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI) last Wednesday, August 25, at the Green Point amphitheatre.

The READI Cape Town pilot project aims to accelerate skills development and learning programmes for youth ambassadors through the department’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

“Any person who is not employed is a person that needs to be employed so we need to try through our programmes to get as many people in to opportunities and employment not just through the government, but get them into entrepreneurship so they themselves become entrepreneurs,” said Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien.

Siyabulela Mbawuli, 32, has been working with the department since April in the Nyanga area.

“We get actual hands on experience with community development. It’s a variety of things we do from training, to assisting professional officers with their tasks, getting venues, setting up a venue, and there is a daily and weekly programme that we work on.”

Bodishia Fortuin, 29, a principal for an Early Childhood Development Centre in Lavender Hill, said their ECD is part of the community development sector and the social department supports them.

“We have been around for two years so we are still new and it’s for kids between the ages of three and five. So our goal is to impact their early learning skills.”

Milano Davids, 28, from Atlantis, said their 10-member team operates in the Melkbosstrand to Milnerton area. “We assist NGOs with whatever they need, whether it’s preparing for an event, distributing food and care packs, or delivering Covid relief packs.“

Gafsah Mullins, 22, from Elsies River, has been with the programme since April. “They are preparing us to get employment and it’s experience we need. We’ve done trauma training, conflict training and first aid training.”

The aim is that a minimum of 50% of participants be provided with job placement after the programme.

“We would like to encourage the participants to make use of the learning opportunities so that they can improve on self-development and important life skills. The pilot project is an investment in our youth and a stepping stone in entering the job market with confidence and to make use of every opportunity to learn new skills,” said Dr Badroodien.