Employment-Intensive Investment in South Africa

Web page | 08 February 2017

Current EIIP Involvement

The ILO through Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) is currently supporting the implementation of infrastructure components of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in South Africa. EPWP is a nationwide programme aimed at poverty alleviation through the systematic use of public expenditure to boost productive employment and the development of marketable skills among targeted sections of the community.

The first phase of the EPWP commenced on the 1st of April 2004, with the national goal of creating one million work opportunities (WO) over five years. EPWP Phase I was successfully completed achieving its target one year ahead of schedule. The second phase of the EPWP lasted from 2009/10 to 2013/14, and the goal was “to create 4.5 million WO or 2 million Full Time Equivalent (FTEs) jobs. At the end of the fifth year, the programme managed to create 3.5 million WO or 924,000 FTE’s jobs nationally.

EPWP Phase III, scheduled from 2014/15 – 2018/19, has drawn from the rich experiences of the first ten years of the EPWP implementation, with an employment target of 6 million WO or 2.5 million FTE. The programme will continue to operate in the four sectors, namely Infrastructure, Environmental and Culture, Social, and Non-state sectors.

Nationally, EPWP projects are coordinated by the National Department of Public Works (NDPW), except in the Limpopo Province where the Limpopo Department of Public Works Roads and Infrastructure (LDPWRI) is mandated by the Provincial Cabinet to coordinate the implementation of the Programme.

One of the most important features of EPWP is the use of the Labour Intensive Construction (LIC) methods for infrastructure provision and delivery of services provided by all spheres of Government.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been engaged by the Government of South Africa to support both NDPW and LDPWRI in the coordination of the implementation of EPWP. Part the ILO’s responsibilities include training and capacity development of implementing agencies in the public and private sectors on the use of LIC. The ILO also provides technical support through the production of manuals, guidelines and intellectual tools for various stakeholders of EPWP including policy and decision makers, programme and project managers, consultants, trainers, mentors and contractors.

Historical Information

The ILO has been supporting the Government of South Africa since 1994. Some of the collaborative areas in the past include:
  • Community Based Public Works Programme (CBPWP) from 1996 to 1997. The 1997 evaluation helped the Government of South Africa to review the programme’s design and implementation modalities.
  • Use of Labour Intensive Construction (LIC) methods in National Department of Public Works (NDPW) including development of appropriate labour standards provided since 1995.
  • Limpopo Department of Public Works (LDPW) and Road Agency Limpopo’s (RAL) “Gundo Lashu” from 2001 to 2005.
  • Assist NDPW in development of the EPWP business plan and strategy culminating in its launch in 2004.