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Delegates at the three-day Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Social Sector conference have reiterated the programme’s commitment to provide work opportunities for unemployed and unskilled people.

Held under the theme ‘United in action to accelerate employment creation through EPWP Social Sector’, the conference signalled the end of the EPWP Phase II – which started in April 2009 with an objective to create 4.5 million work opportunities.

Of these, 750 000 were expected to be created by the social sector between 2009 and 2014.

The EPWP Social Sector achieved over 800 000 work opportunities by December 2013 against the set target of 750 000, through programmes such as early childhood development, home community based care, the School Nutrition Programme, community crime prevention, School Mass Participation and Kha Ri Gude (a mass literacy campaign).

The sector has an obligation to create 1 038 929 work opportunities, as a set target towards the overall EPWP Phase 3 target of six million work opportunities.

Representatives from government departments such as Health, Basic Education, Public Works, Community Safety and Liaison as well as the Independent Development Trust also attended the conference. –