Ramaphosa Asserts ANC's Readiness for Next Term During Eastern Cape Visit

President Ramaphosa celebrates 20 years of EPWP, a job creation program that has provided over 14 million short-term jobs, as the ANC government asserts readiness for the next term despite opposition challenges.

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Israel Ojoko
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Ramaphosa Asserts ANC's Readiness for Next Term During Eastern Cape Visit

Ramaphosa Asserts ANC's Readiness for Next Term During Eastern Cape Visit

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the Eastern Cape province of South Africa on Tuesday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and assert the African National Congress (ANC) government's readiness for the next term, despite facing opposition challenges.

During the event held at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London, Ramaphosa stated, "Like it or not, we are ready for the next term of government. We're [here to] continue with the work, whether they like it or not." The event was attended by EPWP participants, some of whom were wearing ANC regalia.

The EPWP, officially launched in 2004, has provided over 14 million short-term job opportunities in the past 20 years for those unable to find employment in the formal economy. The Eastern Cape, which has the highest unemployment rate in the country, is the third biggest beneficiary of the programme.

Ramaphosa emphasized the program's success in providing employment, skills development, and community-building initiatives, aligning with the National Development Plan's goals of expanding public employment and skills training. He praised the collaborative spirit of the program, which has empowered communities and nurtured a sense of collective responsibility and self-reliance.

Why this matters: The visit highlights the ANC government's efforts to assert its readiness for the next term, despite facing opposition challenges. With South Africa's high unemployment rates, especially among the youth, the EPWP remains a critical policy instrument to tackle unemployment and reduce poverty.

Ramaphosa also promised to create five million jobs for Eastern Cape residents through the EPWP over the next five years. An EPWP beneficiary, Nomaphelo Mdayi, a trained firefighter, shared how the programme has helped her gain employment and start her own business, testifying to the vision of a developmental state that is pro-poor and focused on tackling the root causes of poverty, unemployment, and inequality.

Key Takeaways

  • Ramaphosa visited Eastern Cape to celebrate 20 years of EPWP, a job creation program.
  • EPWP has provided over 14 million short-term jobs in the past 20 years.
  • Ramaphosa asserted ANC's readiness for next term, despite opposition challenges.
  • EPWP aligns with National Development Plan's goals of expanding public employment.
  • Ramaphosa promised to create 5 million EPWP jobs for Eastern Cape in next 5 years.