Jozi@Work: frequently asked questions

Jozi@Work: frequently asked questions

The City of Johannesburg's Jozi@Work programme is set to change the way the City does business, creating thousands of new neighbourhood cooperatives and micro-enterprises.

How can communities access the programme?

housing3 250When a work package is advertised:

  • It will be explained by the department or municipal-owned company that needs the work done at the regional forum nearest to where you live.
  • It is open to anyone who lives or works in the region, has the right to work in South Africa and can prove it.
  • The work package description will be available to you on paper at the regional forum or from the regional offices.
  • You will have to fill out an expression of interest response form, also available at the regional forum or from the regional offices, using the work package number at the top of the description.
  • Assistance with filling out the form will be available via a regional help-desk.
  • The help desk will also guide those who need to form companies or co-ops on the process to be followed.

How will the programme make sure the work goes to local people?

When proposals come in from community-based businesses and co-ops, they will be scored and ranked according to how close the members of the business live to where the work is to be done.

This ranking also considers other factors, including how many jobs the proposal would create (in terms of co-op/business members as well as extra workers to be hired - though more points are given for empowering local people as co-op/business members). The rules also make it clear that work should be spread as widely as possible across different local co-ops and/or businesses.

How will the City make sure the new systems are not corrupt?

roadworkers1 250There will be people assigned to monitor the system through random checks, but the City's best source of tip-offs on corruption will be local people.

The process has been set up to work with communities in an open way through the regional forums, and with work packages assigned to as many local co-ops/community businesses as possible.

By law, no councillor or official outside of the Steering Committee can be involved in ranking enterprises or assigning work.  No one has the power to "cut deals" or make promises outside of the system.

The regional forums and regional reference group will both have whistle-blowing procedures for reporting corruption in the system. Corruption can also be reported to the citywide reference group and the Mayor's office directly once the regional forums begin.

What if people don't have the skills they need to do the work? Will people be trained? What about special equipment and materials?

Some work packages will require special skills (which certain community members will have, even if they are not formally qualified), but most will be semi-skilled work that can be done by people willing to learn under supervision.

Jozi@Work's Capability Support Agents (CSAs) can offer some training on site while work is being done, and in some cases will be able to conduct training before work begins. As part of the enterprise development programme, people will also receive training on the basics of how to run a business.

Co-ops and businesses can rent the equipment and get the materials they need through the Capability Support Agent, and the CSA will recover the costs for this once contract payments are made. If it is affordable and makes sense, the CSA can also arrange a long-term loan for the co-op or company to buy its own equipment.

How does this work together with the Expanded Public Works Programme / Community Works Programme? What is the difference?

housing4 250Any extra workers needed who are not members of the Jozi@Work co-ops or businesses must be Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) participants. People will earn more money and get much more value if they are part of the Jozi@Work companies or co-ops, so groups of EPWP workers will also be encouraged to come together as co-ops to get more value from the system. As a company or co-op in Jozi@Work, people are paid for results, not for their time - this is very different from the EPWP.

Will all the different kinds of work packages be starting at once?

The programme is being implemented in 3 waves, broken down as follows:

Wave 1 (starting Oct 2014) Energy, water, waste, green services, food and agriculture, construction and maintenance.
Wave 2 (starting Nov-Dec 2014) Roads and transportation, business support and urban management, ICT and digital marketing, apprenticeship programme.
Wave 3 (starting Jan-Feb 2015) Expansion of business support and urban management sector work packages.
Expansion of capital and maintenance work packages.

Where will the programme start?

The programme targets all regions of the City from the beginning, but work packages will in most cases apply to specific areas and neighbourhoods.

As far as possible, Departments will break work packages into smaller units to spread opportunity widely across regions and neighbourhoods.