Community activist helps unemployed in Ocean View

Community activist Aslam Richards and Roland Pick shortly before Mr Pick’s interview for a job as a security guard.

An Ocean View community activist is helping to get unemployed people registered with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Aslam Richards, a proportional representation councillor for the Patriotic Alliance and founder of the Cape Flats Wellness Centre, an NPO, says he has registered more than 40 people in recent weeks.

“Crime and unemployment have been a problem in Ocean View for many years and by getting people employed, skilled, and earning a salary, we can reduce crime by breaking the cycle of poverty,” he said.

According to the mayoral committee member for urban waste management Grant Twigg, the EPWP partnership between national government and the City has created temporary work for more than 30 000 people in the past financial year, either directly through the City or its contractors.

The EPWP projects in Ocean View and Simon’s Town include helping street people, cleaning and maintenance.

Mr Richards said most of the people he had registered for the EPWP were single mothers. The idea had come to him after he had started posting vacancies in the area on his personal Facebook page.

“In the past week, I have secured jobs for two people. One as a security guard and the other as a construction worker,” he said.

He said he had also started compiling a database of Ocean View people and their skills and could help companies that were looking to employ people.

Mikayla Farmer, a single mother of a two-year-old daughter, said she had been unemployed for five years and had not known about the EPWP until Mr Richards had registered her.

“I am struggling but trust God to help me. Having my name on this list gives me hope and it will help me to buy my daughter kimbies (nappies) and milk and help me to send her to school and university one day,” she said.

Roland Pick said he had got a job as a security guard in Capri after he responded to one of the vacancies Mr Richards had posted on Facebook. Mr Richards accompanied him to the interview for support.

For more information, follow Mr Richards on Facebook or contact him at aslam.richards@capetown.gov.za or 074 789 0777 or call the City’s EPWP helpdesk at 021 400 9406 or email epwp.help@capetown.gov.za