Some disgruntled residents of Taung village in the North West have expressed concern at the process of recruitment for the Extended Public Works Programme.
They allege that the employment of young people in the programme has been riddled with corruption and nepotism.
The programme is expected to benefit 800 unemployed youth.
Taung is one of the North West’s least developed rural areas. A large part of Taung comprises of villages under traditional authorities.
According to the 2011 StatsSA, 61.7% of local youth are unemployed. And the government’s Extended Public Works Programme is aimed at addressing that challenge.
Now, there are complaints about alleged nepotism and corruption in the recruitment process.
Some Taung community members had this to say: “There is no way people can come and work in our village without being informed as community members,” says one community member.
“If there are people to be employed in our village, there is a procedure that needs to be followed,” another one explains. “This guy went there and convened a meeting at someone’s house, not at a meeting point where we usually meet as the community.”
Even the local Ward 18 Committee was seemingly not engaged, during the employment of EPWP workers.
Taung Ward 18 committee member says, Kereeditse Mothibi, says there is a group that that has been employed as EPWP’s.
“This group was employed unlawfully because as the ward committee councilors and the councilor, we do not know about such programme. That is why we had a concern and ask what is happening.”
The Greater Taung Local Municipality did not want to comment on the allegations but referred SABC News to the provincial local government department.
MEC for the department, Mmoloki Cwaile says, “The MEC approves the number of EPWP each municipality is appointing and we have done exactly that. So, we have agreed to or conceded that the municipality can appoint a particular number of EPWP’s. So, it cannot be that the municipality was not aware of the processes.”
The Provincial Department of Public Works says there are recruitment guidelines for EPWP.
A spokesperson for the department Matshube Mfoloe says, “The reason why there are guidelines is to streamline so that there must be uniformity. Central to that the process should be fair. It has to be open. It has to be equity (sic) in there. You do not just wake up and say to people that you are going to be the beneficiaries. It is regulated there are certain basic forms of employment, equity thing that informs the entire package.”
The MEC says the allegations will be investigated and those implicated in any wrongdoing will be accountable.