AFSA and Ithunga Development Community Work Programme

The Community Work Programme (CWP) is an employment safety net run by the office of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and implemented by partners, of which AFSA and Ithunga Development form part of. It provides access to a minimum level of regular work on an ongoing and predictable basis for those who need it most at the local level. In practise, it offers two days of work a week (or the monthly equivalent), providing 100 days of work spread throughout the year.

The CWP does not replace government’s social grants programme but supplements this. It is intended to be an ongoing programme. The programme is targeted at unemployed and underemployed women and men of working age.

What makes the CWP different is that it is also a community programme. The work must be ‘useful work’. It must improve the area and the quality of life for the people living there. People living in the area help decide on work they think is useful and needed in the area. They also decide which jobs are the most important. Examples of work being done include:

  • Setting up gardens
  • Fencing food gardens
  • Helping to maintain and fix cemeteries, parks, and churches
  • Fixing classrooms and clinics
  • Repair desks and chairs at Schools
  • Cleaning Rivers
  • Teacher Assistants
  • Helping orphans and vulnerable children
  • Providing labour to maintain gardens at vulnerable households
  • Helping with problems like violence against women and children, by having street guards in places where people may be raped and cutting the long grass next to pathways so that people are safe when they are walking.

The CWP is an area-based programme that is implemented in a defined local area (called a site) that is usually a ward or municipal area. Sites are targeted in the most marginalised economic areas, where unemployment is high and sustainable jobs will take the longest to reach.

The programme provides training, but much more than all of this the intent is to restore dignity in our communities.