An additional 168 temporary workers will be joining the City of Cape Town’s Graffiti Unit from February to June this year to assist in removing illegal graffiti from the Mother City’s streets.
The workers will be sourced from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) database across the city.
Illegal graffiti can quickly change the appearance of a neighbourhood and create a great concern among residents. Unlawful street art left to stand can give the impression that no one cares about the area and can often discourage business.
Funds have to be diverted to pay for the removal of the graffiti rather than used for community programmes, a source of great frustration within communities. “Offensive or obscene graffiti can also affect residents’ sense of safety and security in their own communities,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The new Graffiti Unit employees will form part of two teams tasked with cleaning up gang and illegal graffiti in the Cape Flat as well as other suburbs.
The City’s EPWP database is centralised, and members on the database get work opportunities based on a computerised random selection process. National guidelines prescribe that EPWP work relates to any temporary work, ranging from a single day to the full duration of a project. The main point is that all of these placements are temporary, and employment depends on the type of work on offer and the length of the particular project.
“Negative images and words not only scar the urban landscape, but also those residents who have to look at it daily. Getting rid of gangster graffiti will help restore dignity to many communities and instill a sense of pride. The City recognises the value of public art and street artists as their work can inspire and provoke new thinking, it can beautify shared spaces, uplift communities and tells the rich stories of our history. I want to encourage graffiti artists who want to do graffiti or public art to contact our Arts and Culture branch,” says Alderman JP Smith.
Picture: The City of Cape Town