Protest at Independent Development Trust for resumption of Expanded Public Works Programme, Newsline

Pretoria – Frustrated members of the Expanded Public Works Programme staged a sit in at the offices of the Independent Development Trust.

The National United NPOs of South Africa (Nunsa) led the group that sought to convince the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to resume the Expanded Public Works Programme that’s been halted since March.

Nunsa secretary Luthando Kolwati said the group represents 360 non-profit organisations and 50 000 workers who have been sitting at homes since the programme was stopped but they have contracts that only expire in March 2021.

He said the group were leaders from across the country who decided to make the stop at the Independent Development Trust offices ahead of protest action outside the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure tomorrow.

He said Independent Development Trust is the implementing agency that records their work regarding the Expanded Public Works Programme, but the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure was the one that gave a mandate and budget.

“This Friday we will protest at the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure because we feel like the department is not being transparent with us and with the Independent Development Trust.

“Independent Development Trust is like the middle-man in this programme and we suspect that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure wants to remove it and that has caused some disagreements between the two.

“The problem for us is that this is now affecting so many people, many of whom have not been working and able to feed their families. However, those people are sitting at home with valid contracts while they could be working already at level one of the lockdown.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Expanded Public Works Programme would be extended but as we speak many of the workers are still not working because of the differences between the two departments.

“We spoke to the chief executive of the Independent Development Trust and he said he could not give any directive because the programme is actually the mandate of public works, who issue the budget. We are hoping to get the attention of the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille and her deputy so that this matter can be resolved.”

Pretoria News