The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is embroiled in a court battle over alleged procurement irregularities in one of the country’s largest and most successful employment programmes.
Scathing affidavits suggest that the department may have flouted its own rules and procurement processes when appointing 11 new implementing agents to manage its Community Work Programme (CWP) – a national employment project with a R12-billion budget.
Put at stake are the livelihoods of a quarter of a million low-waged workers employed across the country through the programme.
The CWP is a government-funded initiative designed to cushion the poorest of the poor by providing regular low-skilled work opportunities like road maintenance‚ home and community-based care work‚ planting trees and maintaining food gardens‚ and fixing classrooms.
Participants are managed at various sites across the country by implementing agents‚ normally NGOs‚ who manage a sizeable chunk of the programme’s budget.