Builders’ fear after robbery

2012-12-03 00:00

CONSTRUCTION of a R5,6 million sports facility at KwaNyuswa, in the Ezinqoleni municipality on the south coast, has resumed after the builders were forced to stop working when workers were robbed and victimised.

Sphamandla Shange, of Sakhe Zithazam JV Contractors, said several workers were mugged and their cellphones, money and other valuables stolen from their temporary residence, an on-site camp.

Shange said the workers were working in fear in an area that needs development. He said the company had made alternative living arrangements to avoid the situation recurring.

“We don’t feel safe even at the construction site, because it’s the same community we are working to develop that’s taking advantage of us. We stopped working for three days two weeks ago, but had to go back because the municipality is paying to build the centre and we were falling behind schedule,” he said.

“I don’t understand why the community is delaying the development of their area.

“We are here to do a job and the better our working conditions are, the sooner we finish building the project,” Shange said.

Ezinqoleni Mayor Amos Mpisi said he was relieved the contractors had decided to return to work. “The construction team is back at the site again even though they were held at gunpoint, but they have moved their workers to live in another area and I want this issue addressed as soon as possible,” he said.

Mpisi said he was planning to meet with people living in the KwaNyuswa tribal area to discuss the matter and prevent further such cases from happening.

“I’m going schedule a meeting with people in the area and their traditional leader to see what can be done to stop this bad behaviour,” he said.

KwaNyuswa ward 1 councillor Sibongiseni Khawula said he was “not impressed” by the attacks on the construction workers.

“We believe that the people responsible for these wrongdoings come from our community and we are investigating with our tribal authority,” he said.

“If such things keep happening, we will struggle to get service delivery.

“The municipality is trying to assist us, but on the other hand people are ruining things for the community,” Khawula added.

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