Tshwane to recruit over 5 000 using electronic lottery system

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Tshwane executive mayor Randall Williams.
Tshwane executive mayor Randall Williams.

The City of Tshwane will use artificial intelligence technology to recruit over 5 000 people through an electronic lottery system, which it says will eliminate nepotism when engaging workers for its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Tshwane executive mayor Randall Williams yesterday announced that to ensure fairness and transparency when recruiting, the city is implementing its lottery recruitment system (electronic random draw).

“We are pleased to put an end to the days where EPWP opportunities were handed out to hand-picked beneficiaries. Under our administration, the residents of Tshwane can trust that our recruitment and selection process is fair, with no corruption and nepotism,” he said.

The EPWP is a government initiative aimed at helping to reduce unemployment, which currently stands at 34.4% of the population, according to Stats SA’s latest Labour Force Survey.

It tackles unemployment by providing poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed. EPWP projects employ workers on a temporary or ongoing basis with government, contractors, or other non-governmental organisations.

The programme creates work opportunities in four sectors: infrastructure, non-state, environment, and culture and social.

However, it has been mired by allegations of nepotism and patronage over the years. The previous ANC-led council had been accused of abusing the programme by employing friends and family ahead of deserving candidates, which is why the Democratic Alliance-led council has now opted for the electronic lottery system.

Yesterday, Williams said: “Earlier today, I joined the MMC for community and social development services, councillor Thabisile Vilakazi, to observe the EPWP lottery recruitment drive. The city is planning to recruit 5 090 EPWP workers on a temporary contract basis, starting in November this year.

“The system works independently, without any influence, by electronically selecting applicants from our EPWP database. Currently, the database has over 150 000 registered job-seekers.

“This is fundamentally different to how the process occurred before 2016, when the recruitment was politically-driven, without any form of transparency or fairness.”

The mayor added that registration on the database remains open. Job-seekers must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and should submit a certified copy of their identity document and proof of residence, which will be attached to the registration form.

“The registration forms are available at the EPWP Division, Office G03, Ou Raadsaal Building (Church Square, Pretoria CBD). Registration is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00.

“EPWP has become an important programme in the fight against poverty and unemployment, giving our residents much-needed income-earning opportunities,” said Williams.

The use of the electronic lottery system in recruitment is one of the many technology-driven initiatives the city has been implementing to govern SA’s capital.

A year ago, the City of Tshwane made it possible for residents and businesses to interact with it directly for a range of services, on instant messaging platform WhatsApp.

Through the e-Tshwane WhatsApp Chat Service, ratepayers can view and pay their bills via the platform, request application forms for a number of services, access specific links and obtain contact information.

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