In the next five years, the ANC will massively expand public works programmes to create 6 million work opportunities

Progress

Broken
  • When made: January 2014
  • Where made: Party manifesto

A “work opportunity” is paid work on any of the expanded public works programme (EPWP) projects. The EPWP aims to provide “poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed”.

Work opportunities can run for any period of time, but typically last a few months. They include work on early childhood development programmes, home-based care programmes and roads maintenance projects.

Some learnerships also count as work opportunities. These range from pharmacy assistance to tea production.

A total of 4.5 million work opportunities were created in the five years from the start of the 2014/15 financial year to the end of 2018/19, according to the department of public works and infrastructure.

Work opportunities created through the expanded public works programme
Financial year Work opportunities created
2014/15 1,103,983
2015/16 741,540
2016/17 779,245*
2017/18 900,234
2018/19 997,286
Total 4,522,288

Source: Department of public works and infrastructure

*Note: A slightly higher number (779,251) appears in the department’s annual report. Kgomotso Mathuloe, EPWP director of communications, said it was reduced because six deceased participants were identified from department of home affairs data. Africa Check also found more than one number for 2015/16. The public works department’s annual report on the South African Government website says 742,179 work opportunities were created in 2015/16. However, Mathuloe sent us another version of the annual report that contains the number in the table above.

If the same person works on different projects, each period of employment is counted as a work opportunity. This could mean fewer than 4,522,288 million people benefited from the EPWP.

The department missed the ANC’s target by close to 1.5 million work opportunities (15%). The promise has therefore been broken. 

The ANC did not respond to requests for comment. – Africa Check, August 2019

Note: The ANC’s 2014 manifesto was released on 11 January and the election held on 7 May. Government reporting keeps to financial years. We tracked the party’s five-year progress in keeping its promises from 1 April 2014, the start of the 2014/15 financial year, to 31 March 2019, the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

Source: ANC 2014 Manifesto