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EC invests R20m in youth programme to control spread of Covid-19

The Eastern Cape department of public works & infrastructure has invested R20m towards its Covid-19 youth programme.

Of the R20m set aside for the programme over six months, the lion's share,  R15m, will go towards paying the stipends of the 1,000 participants.

A total of R3m will be used to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for the participants; R1.5m will be used to buy machinery and equipment and R500,000 will go towards training.

The programme started in September and will end in February 2021 as the provincial government continues to ensure the Covid-19 curve is flattened.

The participants are divided into occupational health and safety officer representatives; monitors and cleaners will play a crucial role in ensuring all government buildings are Covid-19 compliant and surfaces are sanitised and fumigated, among other responsibilities.

DPWI provincial spokesperson Vuyokazi Mbanjwa said they had partnered with non-profit organisation, Scientology Volunteer Ministers, at no cost to taxpayers.

Through the agreement, the NPO will offer basic fogging, disinfecting and decontamination skills to the participants; spearhead peer education, community mobilisation and public awareness on Covid-19; and teach the participants hygiene education.

“The services offered by the Scientology Volunteers Ministers will be provided at no cost to the department and will be funded through donations.

“Their assistance is given unconditionally in solidarity with the people of Eastern Cape and SA, in line with the directions provided by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Furthermore, an amount of R500,000 will be been set aside for the training of Covid-19 youth brigades programme on basic soft and technical skill,” she said.

Breaking down the expenditure of the R20m allocated budget, Mbanjwa said while R15m would pay stipends, the rest would be spent on:

  • R3m on PPE: respirator masks; three layer masks; gloves, 70% alcohol based hand sanitisers; protective coverall with coating on both sides; three panel hood design for compatibility with complementary PPE; two-way zipper with sealable storm flap; face shield and brow guard; gumboots; safety shoes and disposable non-woven overshoes.
  • R1.5m on machinery and equipment: 40 motorised-mist blowers with motor capacity greater than 50cc; power output greater than 2,5kw; tank capacity greater than 10 litres; maximum vertical range greater than 11 metres; maximum horizontal range greater than 11 metres.
  • The R1.5m will also be used to buy 40 manual backpack sprayers with stainless a steel wand and reinforced PVC hose; working pressure of  a maximum of 6 bar while the tank capacity has to be more than 15 litres.

This article was paid for by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure

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