Project Empower

Fellow: Ntokozo Kamadlala

Grant Year: 2020

Location: eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa

Organization: Project Empower

Project title: Women & Girls Footprints (WGF)

Project summary: Project Empower seeks to advocate for women’s and girls’ representation and active role in policy development, coordination, and implementation of the Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP) in the eThekwini Municipality to improve women’s and girls’ livelihoods. EPWP is an intra-governmental program that seeks to alleviate poverty and build skills for women, girls, youth, and disabled persons in South Africa. However, since its inception in 2005, there has been minimal improvement in poverty alleviation, and women and girls still make up the majority of the unemployed and poor across the country, particularly in informal settlements. As a result, Project Empower will advocate for the creation of a municipal level technical working group for the EPWP made up of representatives of civil society organizations, the EPWP Implementing Team, and women (ages 24-35) from townships and informal settlements (Mhlasini, Zwelisha, Bhambayi, Bottlebrush, Amaoti, Amaotana, Clare Estate, Burlington, Buffelsdraai and KwaSanti)—including the two largest townships in Durban (KwaMashu and Umlazi) and the surrounding areas within the eThekwini Municipality by September 2021. Within its first year, the technical working group is estimated to reflect the voices and needs of 10,000 women and girls residing across the eThekwini Municipality in order to increase economic opportunities for women, girls, youth, and people with disabilities.