News & events


“CWP is working wonders, feeding my children and bringing in money”: Reflections on the Community Work Programmes contribution to food security

28 November 2013
13:00 - 14:00

Speaker: Ms  Shirin Motala, Economic Performance and Development, HSRC

Date: 28 November 2013

Time: 13H00-14H00  

The Presidency piloted an innovation in public employment through the introduction of the Community Work Programme (CWP) in 2007. Evidence from a study conducted by HSRC in 2011 at selected CWP sites shows that this type of public employment scheme has the potential to help meet the food and nutrition security needs of vulnerable children.
Shirin Motala and Peter Jacobs, HSRC

The Community Works Programme is an employment guarantee scheme providing participants with 2 days work per week to a total of 100 days per year at a stipend of R60 per day. At the time of this research in 2011, more than 70 CWP sites were operational across the country involving just under 100 000 participants. In his 2012 budget speech Minister Gordhan announced a government commitment to scale up the programme to reach over 300 000 participants by 2014.

A key feature of the CWP is that work done must be “useful work” that contributes to broader community good or to quality of life. Types of “work” activities that have been prioritised by CWP sites include: agricultural and food security interventions; environmental rehabilitation and maintenance; social and community services, including home-based care and community safety interventions.

Food gardening appears to be a central activity in almost all CWP sites through the development and maintenance of communal food gardens, home food gardens and food gardens targeting particular vulnerable groups (e.g. a  ECD centres, hospitals or clinics and institutions providing care for the elderly, disabled and for children).

Public Employment Programme’s have gained popularity globally and in South Africa as “safety nets” to protect poor and vulnerable people against shocks. Evidence suggests that, if well designed, public employment programmes present an opportunity to achieve multiple developmental policy objectives such as addressing food insecurity, particularly targeted to children.

Kindly RSVP by 26 November 2013

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below. The speakers will be in Pretoria

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: