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The Community Work Programme (CWP) is a Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, or Cogta, project. In the different provinces, the department solicits the services of lead agents such as Mvula Trust, to oversee the running of the project. This is done through public tender. These agents then get provincial implementing agents, who in turn get local implementing agents with the help of municipalities in each area.

The programme is run by Mvula Trust in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

On paper, the CWP reads like the perfect response to unemployment and poverty in South Africa. It recruits unskilled and unemployed people in poor communities, and tasks them with maintaining and developing their neighbourhoods. It has been overseen by Cogta since 2007. The Mvula-run provinces alone employ at least 70 000 workers. Watch the video here.

However, the programme has courted controversy recently following numerous reports to Cogta – including those made by Corruption Watch – of irregularities and non-payments to beneficiaries.

In April this year Cogta launched an enquiry into the CWP and a private firm was engaged to carry out the investigation. It is due to report the findings to Cogta Minister Richard Baloyi on 15 June. Read more about Corruption Watch’s involvement in this probe here.

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