Eastern Cape Transport MEC Takes Action to Prevent EPWP Worker Payment Delays

Non payment of EPWP workers may be the thing of the past if the intervention by Eastern Cape Transport MEC Xolile Nqatha is something to go by.

MEC  Nqatha has described as regrettable and unacceptable the non payment of EPWP workers on the scheduled date of payment. MEC Nqatha has since instructed officials in the department to work closely with the South African Post Office (SAPO) and the Post Bank, to ensure that there is no repeat of this incident.

This, after scores of EPWP workers were left stranded as the Post Office, the entity that the department has entrusted with processing the payment of the workers, allegedly ran out of funds to pay all the workers. The worst affected area was Mbizana in the Alfred Ndzo District, with a few similar cases reported in other parts of the province as well. Scores of  young and old workers could be seen sleeping near the post offices waiting for their monies.

Eastern Cape Transport MEC, Xolile Nqatha says this is something that should not happen again.

“Firstly, I have to extend my sympathy to the workers for this regrettable incident. I have instructed department officials to work closely with SAPO to resolve this problem. It is worth noting that the nonpayment of the workers is not the doing of the department, but we will work closely with SAPO to ensure that the workers get what is due to them,” said MEC Nqatha.

From the meeting between the department and SAPO in Bizana, it had emerged that inadequate cash to pay all beneficiaries was the main reason for the nonpayment of the EPWP workers. This is partly due to the inability to sustain and meet the high demand for cash volumes on month-end days as social grant beneficiaries also get their payout at the post office. The cautious stance the branch had taken to keep less cash on site after experiencing incidents of robberies has also been cited as a contributing factor to the unfortunate incident of earlier this month.

The department has given assurance to its EPWP workers and commits that it will continue to honour its contractual agreement with them.

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