Employment Guarantee in South Africa: a case study of the CWP in Munsieville, Johannesburg

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1 Employment Guarantee in South Africa: a case study of the CWP in Munsieville, Johannesburg Dr. Khayaat Fakier ThembaMasondo Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

2 Background to EGS in South Africa Apartheid legacy of structural inequalities the policy of separate development The country is currently beset by high levels of unemployment and social inequality The private sector has failed to create sufficient employment opportunities Since the democratic breakthrough in 1994 the ANC led government has adopted the policy of employer of last resort

3 EGSs in post-apartheid South Africa In 1994 the government introduced the National Public Works Programme > Expanded Public Works Programme in 2004 In 2007, the Presidency initiated the Community Work Programme In the CWP the emphasis is on providing regular access to a minimum level of work, on a predictable basis, as an employment safety net

4 Community Work Programme continued... CWP provides access to a minimum level of regular work - 2 days a week (100 days a year) at a wage rate of R50.00 per day. An area-based programme, intended to be ongoing; this allows it to target the poorest areas: where market-based jobs are unlikely to come any time soon The CWP uses community participation to identify useful work and priorities. Work is decided in Ward Committees or local development fora; it is multi-sectoral and contributes to public/community goods and services; Start-up scale: 1,000 participants per site CWP sites have a 65% labour intensity

5 NREGA and CWP compared NREGA CWP Geographical Target Rural Urban and rural (but predominantly urban) Implementing agencies Government departments, assisted by the gram panchayats Not for profit NGOs Teba Development and Seriti Type of work Largely water conservation & harvesting, irrigation canals and road construction (8 specified activities) Largely cleaning of communities, gardening in public institutions such as schools & clinics, patrolling of communities, ECD and HBC Legal status This is an Act adopted by the national parliament Not yet an Act but a government programme. The government has announced its plan to roll out the programme to all municipalities by 2014

6 Community Work Programme in Munsieville One of the first four CWP pilots was conducted in Munsieville community in the Gauteng province in January This community comprises approximately 10,000 households. We conducted a household survey of 72 participants, which included 9 coordinators. In addition we interviewed the local manager of the CWP and a ward councilor. The interviews were supplemented by observation, which was written up as field notes.

7 Age and Education of Participants Age 34,7 34, ,6 38, , ,6 Age Grade R-7 Grade 8-11 Grade 12/matric 1,4 Tertiary 5,6 No formal education

8 Gender and Age Distribution of Participants ,4 26,4 22,22 8,3 8,3 8,3 Female Male The total sample comprised of 25 % men and 75 % women. The three major age groups represented are almost equally represented; i.e., the year olds and year olds comprised 34.7 per cent, respectively and the year olds 30.6 per cent. 5 In all three age cohorts the participation of men is very low The age and gender cohort of the Munsieville participants suggests that the male unemployed youth is not being captured on the CWP.

9 Access to Services (%) ,3 Water 73, ,3 Electrici ty Sanitati on (flash toilets) Refuse Remov al (once a week) % 90,3 73, ,3 52% percent of the CWP participants live in households with 3-5 members. Two thirds of the sample live in a permanent home and 25% in a shack/informal dwelling. All homes had access to electricity and water provided by the municipality. Only 3 participants had no access to sanitation at their homes and 75% of participants had flush toilets linked to a sewage system in their dwelling

10 Childcare services 68% of participants had childcare facilities, 51% said that they did not use these facilities. It occupies four bare rooms with very little equipment, no books or toys with the children attending this free crèche looked very lethargic and bored. These facilities are free for the children of CWP participants but parents cannot afford the two meals they have to pack for their children

11 Childcare services Photograph 1: Food prepared by CWP workers at a school for disabled children For untrained carers to provide education to children who are hungry is quite a challenge In Westonaria the CWP planted vegetable gardens at schools and crèches and CWP workers cook the vegetables (supplemented by the School Feeding Scheme) for children s lunches.

12 2,8 Income: Regular and predictable? 43,1 34,1 Participants on the CWP earn R400 (INR2400) a month, Coordinators earn R R1800 a month (INR9,000-10,800). 35% still reported that payment was unpredictable. Respondents complained that financial planning is nearly impossible and their households are severely disrupted by the wait for their money. Yet, some of the participants (24%) manage to save some of their money.

13 Other sources of income in household ,4 1,4 16,7 51 8,3 37, % of the sample relied on the CWP as their sole source of income, 16.7% supplement their income with piece work; There is little engagement in waged employment and self-employment Slightly more than half of the sample (51%) receives social grants themselves, predominantly child support grants for their children.

14 Training on CWP Yes Training Only 4 % of participants in addition to coordinators were trained by the CWP Everyone who went for training said that it was good but it is not clear how they were given productive skills to lessen their dependence on the CWP as only one person went for training such as sewing while the other courses were on first aid and life skills. No

15 Participants Evaluation of the CWP Overall, CWP participants were overwhelmingly supportive of the programme. 89 % percent of the participants stated that the programme improved the quality of infrastructure and communal life in Munsieville. The three main improvements, participants noted were, that the community was much cleaner, i.e. litter is being dealt with (29%); that the CWP reduces unemployment (13.9%) and that it provides access to income (10%). Support for social grants was slightly lower as 82% of participants said that grants improved the standard of living of their households.

16 Significance of Food Gardens for Community A Community Vegetable Garden CWP participants who have vegetable gardens were helped by the CWP to grow vegetables. Any Munsieville resident can request the CWP to start vegetable gardens for them in their backyards. Communal vegetable gardens are grown on open pieces of land. Vegetable gardens are, as a result of the CWP, much more widespread in this community and contribute to the diets of ordinary citizens, some school goers and crèche children.

17 Schools receiving the food say it makes an immediate and dramatic difference to learners ability to participate in class, and improve their general performance. Access to food helps people on antiretroviral and tuberculosis treatment to take their medication regularly as they need to eat while taking their medication. In many HIV/AIDS affected households, there is a decline in the availability of labour both from the person who is ill and from caregivers in the family. This contributes to a downward poverty spiral. By providing labour to food gardens for such households, this cycle can be averted or reversed. In some cases access to food has allowed patients being treated with antiretroviral to regularise their treatment.(philip 2010:)

18 Door-to-Door Survey One initiative started in July 2009 was an intensive door-to-door survey to establish the kinds of social problems facing people in the community. A visit to every household in the community to ensure that everyone is drawn into the CWP process with the aim to establish the needs each of the households in Munsieville. The D-2-D survey found a high number of orphans and vulnerable children, child-headed households, vulnerable women, men in need and aged and destitute people. A number of schemes were launched in response to the door-todoor survey, including the food gardens; sewing and knitting groups not only for commercial gain but also for elderly people who expressed loneliness (TIPS 2010; Coordinator s interviews 2010).

19 Door-to-Door Survey Most importantly, the door-to-door survey was introduced to other sites and is now a regular part of CWPs across the country. This particular initiative had a multiplier effect not only in this community but also across the national programme. In Westonaria, e.g. the door-to-door survey highlighted the need for the CWP to get involved in an old-age home. The cleaning, cooking and gardening performed by CWP workers there is invaluable for this cash-strapped state-funded institution. However, it has generated overwhelming support of the programme in the community who sees the CWP as a potential source of social welfare for its frail and needy.

20 What impact is the CWP having on the lives of South Africa s poor? The CWP is making a significant impact on poverty alleviation by providing participants with an income and an employment opportunity for many who never worked before. However, the findings of this pilot study suggest that it is in its contribution to greater social cohesion that its real impact lies. Importantly, this impact is being shaped by age and gender

21 Youth Unemployment Firstly, there is no evidence that the CWP is reaching those most affected by the unemployment crisis, the youth. South Africa s youth unemployment is much higher than in most developing countries (ILO, 2010). In South Africa, 72% of the long-term unemployed are between15-34 years. They also form 71% of South Africa s discouraged work-seekers (Durieux, 2010) One of the attempts to deal with this national problem was the EPWP. However, only 40% of EWP came from this target group and even less so in the CWP in Munsieville (34.7%)

22 Care in the Community In contrast, activity by older women, predominantly, in the social sector is quite significant. It is also in this sector that opportunities for job creation during the economic crisis are greatest as the demand for it is constant (Antonopoulos and Kim, 2008 and Antonopoulos, et al 2010). In South Africa, there is no public childcare available for children from birth to 5 years, and hospitals are overwhelmed by the AIDS pandemic and large numbers of people struggling with tuberculosis. The social sector of the CWP appears to be doing the work of actual organs of the state. Early Childhood Development (ECD) workers and Home Based Care workers (HBC) are doing the work, which the Departments of Education and Health, respectively, are neglecting.

23 Care in the Community It appears that the social development functions of the state are being outsourced cheaply to the CWP which takes it on with great empathy but little actual expertise and skill. Those employed in ECD and HBC are overstretched and work under poor conditions and low pay. The challenge is for the CWP to become a step towards the progressive realisation of decent work, which must include higher wages and better working conditions. Clearly, the scaling up the programme in the social sector has a great potential of creating full-time jobs for the unemployed. This would require the training and creation of fulltime jobs which would include childcare workers, teacher aids, as well as auxiliary work for school caretakers, school clerical workers in as many as 60,000 sites.

24 CWP and Social Cohesion The CWP appears to be combining the care of the vulnerable sectors of society the poor, unemployed, frail, and ill - with the creation of public infrastructure and public goods. It is indisputable that the grassroots organisation and social dialogue building inherent in the CWP has contributed significantly towards social violence in communities such as Munsieville which has had a particularly violent past. The CWP appears to be the ideal mechanism for building trust in a community where alongside its history of violence also runs a deep commitment to engage with the state to change their conditions.

25 CWP and a New Growth Path for South Africa The progressive upgrading of employment in the CWP faces a critical challenge as South Africa has a powerful and well organized labour movement whose support will be necessary for such a policy shift to be implemented. A critical challenge lies in maintaining union commitment to policies that support employment creation and equity even when it requires some sacrifice from union members. In order to achieve this, the New Growth Path must ensure that economic and social policies demonstrably reward any sacrifice by members with real gains for the working class as whole ( NGP, 2010:29) The New Growth Path is not clear as to what these sacrifices by labour will be and how their support will be won although it does propose a social pact with key stakeholders (NGP, 210:31) Our research suggests that CWP is an opportunity for the state, in the very short run, to accelerate employment creation primarily through direct employment schemes.

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