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POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND URBAN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF THE COMMUNITY WORK PROGRAMME ON URBAN VIOLENCE MALOSE LANGA, AND DAVID BRUCE (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF VIOLENCE AND RECONCILIATION)
The Community Work Programme (CWP) is a government programme implemented in recognition of the structural nature of unemployment and intended to assist the ‘poorest of the poor’. At the sites where it has been established the CWP offers two days of work per week to participants in return for which they are reimbursed at a rate of R67 per day. CWP members do work in their own communities. Community representatives make decisions about appropriate projects for each CWP site. A study by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation explores the ideas that the CWP impacts on violence through building social and civic cohesion in communities that face a high risk of collective and interpersonal violence. Based on preliminary fieldwork carried out in a Gauteng township, this paper explores questions that are raised by the study including general questions about the relationship between poverty alleviation, job creation and the prevention of violence, the implications of the predominance of women in the CWP, issues of the relationship between social cohesion and inclusion in urban settings within a context of high levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment, and the relationship between accountability, transparency state legitimacy and civic inclusion.
Key words: Community Work Programme, Violence, Urban violence