No matric cost mother her census job

2011-10-24 00:00

THANDAZILE Mthembu (37) of Bhekulwandle at Amanzimtoti was over the moon when she signed a contract with Statistics South Africa to become an enumerator. But then she was laid off within a week because she did not have matric.

“What I don’t understand is why they’d call me for training and to work and then fire me at the end,” the puzzled mother of three said.

Mthembu is adamant that she was honest from the word go on her CV and application form, submitted in September, stating that the highest grade she had passed was grade 11.

She worked from when Census 2011 kicked off and counted 17 households from last week Monday to Thursday. “This was my first job ever and I was really happy.”

She told The Witness that she was hurt about the incident. Apparently, her supervisor just told her “to bring back her stuff” — uniform and ID tag — with no further explanation about the matter. “I’m not even sure whether they’re going to pay me for my days worked or not,” she added.

The 37-year-old said that even if Stats SA does not give her take-home pay she would like to be reimbursed for the taxi fares she spent during the seven days’ training.

Helen North of Stats SA said: “She was offered a contract, but was not appointed as she did not produce the required information. With no signed contract with the organisation she will not receive payment.”

North said Mthembu had verbally informed them that she had matric. October 9 was already upon them and fieldwork was under way. This is how she ended up in the field.

Stats SA said Mthembu was part of a group of potential enumerators hired to fill gaps in areas that had not received sufficient applications.

“It is when she submitted her CV now that it became clear she did not have matric”.

But Mthembu said that was not true; she signed a contract and submitted her CV and application in the middle of September.

“Only God knows. Maybe it was not meant for me.

“I’ll get another job,” the disappointed mother said.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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