Cape Town set to open jobseekers database to private sector

03 May 2016 - 12:42 By Aphiwe Deklerk

People registered with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in Cape Town stand the chance of getting employment with the private sector and other government agencies.The plan is part of a draft revised policy tabled by the City of Cape Town‚ and it is believed to be the first time a proposal has been made by any municipality to expand EPWP opportunities beyond the government.The draft policy reads: “The city shall in future allow private employers and government agencies to employ jobseekers on the database when looking for temporary or permanent workers for projects not necessarily registered with the EPWP programme. This may allow the EPWP workers to progress to full-time employment.”Suzette Little‚ the mayoral committee member for social development‚ said the idea was to improve access to opportunities for the poor.“The city’s aim is definitely not to act like a recruitment agency. However‚ the jobseeker database will‚ when opened‚ provide an excellent opportunity to link the unemployed with opportunities‚” she said.The draft policy was in its final stages but Little could not indicate when it would be implemented.According to another report‚ to be tabled at the social development and early childhood development portfolio committee next week‚ the city’s jobseeker database contains more than 160000 names.The City of Cape Town claims to have created 26 510 EPWP work opportunities this financial year alone.The draft policy stipulates that the city will keep employment records of EPWP workers‚ “including favourable and unfavourable incidents‚ as a determining baseline to be considered for future employment opportunities in the EPWP programme”.Mike Khumalo‚ secretary of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union in Cape Town‚ said the city council was negating its responsibility to empower and employ EPWP workers to fill vacancies.The labour union and the city have had a long-running battle over the EPWP‚ with the former accusing the city of using workers for jobs that should be done by permanent staff.Khumalo said the union had an agreement that when the city fills vacancies‚ 20% should go to EPWP workers.“There are a lot of people in the communities who are seeking employment‚” he said. “Are we going to prejudice them on the basis that they are not on the city’s database?” – TMG Digital/The Times 

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