Battle for cleaning jobs in Barca

2017-04-06 06:03
Some residents moved their bucket toilets away from their homes and left them on the dusty streets, covered with cardboards and plastic to help contain the smell. PHOTO: Mandla mnyakama

Some residents moved their bucket toilets away from their homes and left them on the dusty streets, covered with cardboards and plastic to help contain the smell. PHOTO: Mandla mnyakama

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Barcelona informal settlement in Gugulethu is strewn with reeking portable chemical toilets after residents stopped cleaners from working last Friday, in protest against recruitment policies.

The toilets are supplied by the City of Cape Town to homes in the area and surrounding settlements and janitors are employed to clean them.

Last week, residents in one section of the settlement forced janitors to stop work just after the janitors had removed the portable toilets, which were full.

Residents say that they told local ward councillor Bongani Ngcombolo that they wanted 21 people who had worked as casuals in the area since December to get the janitorial positions from 1 February.

They say Ngcombolo chose to employ new janitors from the municipality’s database instead and sidelined the casuals. The casual workers had waited at the communal hall in Barcelona, but Ngcombolo had conducted the hiring process in the Gugulethu municipal offices. Now residents have vowed to prevent toilet cleaning services in the area until Ngcombolo and the municipality have complied with their demands.

Mongameli Mbili, a local street committee chairperson, said the community wanted Mayor Patricia de Lille to intervene because the recruitment process was not transparent. He said promises made to the casual workers had not been kept.

However, other residents were concerned about health hazards related to the unemptied toilets. Resident Nokuzola Ndlovu, 56, said no one had informed her of what was happening since Saturday morning when she had found the buckets near her home.

“It is worse now that we have been left with no place to relieve ourselves after the removal of the buckets from our toilet structures,” said Ndlovu. She wants flush toilets to be installed to prevent a similar problem arising in the future.

Thoko Mahlanza, 26, said some toilets had been left in front of her shack. She has a seven-year-old child. “The smell becomes awful because of the heat. We are forced to stay behind closed doors. I always fear for my child. Its also difficult to cook or eat in this kind of situation. I do not know if maggots might crawl into our home if the wide open buckets [toilets] are still ignored like this.”

Councillor and Mayco member Siyabulela Mamkeli said a meeting was scheduled with Ngcombolo and city officials, who would then meet with the Barcelona community leadership.

“The City has chosen to randomise the allocation of job opportunities to prevent bias in the selection of candidates.

“In the interest of fairness and consistency, we cannot deviate from the policy in this case.”

“Those who disrupt the service are holding the rest of the community to ransom for their own demands, and this should not be condoned,” said Mamkeli. – Ground Up

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
There's an app for that: how apps have changed us

"There's an app for that" is more than just Apple's marketing mantra. Mobile apps have emerged over the last 10 years or so for practically every need in a person's day and changed our lives.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.