The Department of Public Works has announced an increase in minimum wage for all workers in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), from R88 to R92.31, with effect from November 1.
This revised minimum wage refers to a wage rate per day and per task performed across all EPWP sectors in all spheres of government, that is national, provincial and municipal level. The EPWP minimum wage increases annually in line with the inflation rate. Stanley Henderson, the deputy director-general for EPWP, emphasised the need for keeping up with the increased minimum wage.
“The increased EPWP minimum wage is compulsory to all the public bodies implementing the EPWP and there will be no excuse that will validate the payment of EPWP participants below the minimum wage and not adhering to the adjusted minimum wage as determined by the EPWP Ministerial Determination,” Henderson said.
“The EPWP is a critical government initiative which makes a contribution towards a safety net to millions of South Africans who have socio-economic challenges and has the responsibility to provide for themselves and their families.”
This is one of the government’s key programmes aimed at providing poverty and income relief through temporary work. Thus EPWP provides to the unemployed an important avenue for labour absorption and income transfers to poor households, in the short to medium-term.
Projects employ workers on a temporary or ongoing basis with the government, contractors, or other non-governmental organisations, creating work opportunities in infrastructure, non-state, environment and culture and social sectors.
The EPWP Ministerial Determination says participants should work for 40 hours per week and they can also work on a task basis and the task sizes are governed by the average productivity of a worker in a day.