A How-To-Guide on Running Effective Expanded Public Works Programmes

The EPWP is a South African government initiative developed in 2003 following the Growth and Development Summit
(GDS) that took place in that year. The mandate of the programme is to “provide poverty and income relief through
temporary work for the unemployed to carry out useful activities”. In doing this, it helps to create and maintain infrastructure
and improves services to the public.


Aiming to create jobs in the shortest possible time and shaped by the conclusions of the GDS, the EPWP is guided by the
following principles:
• To allow for diversity in its programmes
• To increase the use of best practice in its programmes
• To use assigned budgets and replace special poverty-relief or public-works budgets
• To be sustainable and economically efficient
• To focus on growing sectors of the economy
• Through the programme design process, to maximise involvement of local unemployed labour.
The EPWP focuses on four sectors: Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Social and Non-state. It covers all spheres of
government and state-owned enterprises, with each public-sector body structuring its budget so that it contributes to the
implementation of the programme.


The purpose of the guide is to provide implementing agents at city level with guidelines on how to carry out EPWP
programmes and projects successfully. Reference material used in compiling the guide included the Infrastructure Manual,
the Ministerial Determination and the Code of Good Practice for the EPWP.