The Good, the Better and the Best: How the Community Work Programme can Reach its Full Potential as an Instrument of Community Development in South Africa

By providing an employment safety net, the CWP offers enormous benefits. Although the payments that people receive are relatively small, they contribute to raising average household incomes and stimulating local economies in areas with high levels of poverty and unemployment. It is a major undertaking to establish and manage a CWP site in an efficient and fair manner. The basic management of sites includes a wide range of tasks including ensuring that communities are consulted to identify work that is useful, that recruitment is done fairly, and that the site has the right equipment and technical assistance to do work at the required quality. It also includes ensuring that all participants really work, sign registers and that tools are returned and stored safely. Site staff must dedicate considerable time to ensuring that these systems are operating properly.In this policy brief we look at what distinguishes ‘better sites’ from other sites.