City takes on 200 cleaners

2011-05-02 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality has employed 200 temporary workers on a city-cleaning project that started on Thursday.

Four hundred more employees are expected to be roped in soon.

The project, funded with R13 million by the provincial Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department, was initiated by municipal administrator Sibusiso Sithole and will run for 12 months.

It was implemented in line with the expanded public works programme (EPWP) and the cleaners will work for R60 per day, three days a week, for the duration.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said the cleaners are employed to make sure that the city is in a spick and span condition.

“They will be picking up litter, cut grass … clear drains and all cleaning that is required,” said Zuma.

“Once we are satisfied that the city is clean before the end of the one-year term, the cleaners will be deployed to do the same job in their wards. A team will be left in town to monitor and make sure that the city is kept clean.

“It must be emphasised that this programme is not a replacement for existing municipal staff as they will continue doing the work which they are paid to do.”

Zuma said there is nothing the municipality can do about the R60 payment as it is the amount stipulated as a stipend by the EPWP.

“The administrator has pointed out that the project has nothing to do with the elections, so it will last for a year. “We appeal to residents not to dump illegally and to stop littering,” he said.

Some of the newly employed cleaners said they were unhappy about the payment, calling it an insult because much of it would be spent on transport.

A group deployed in Greyling Street said some of them spend up to R24 on transport to and from work daily.

“I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but honestly, are these people expecting us to survive on R60 a day?” said one employee.

“I’m one of those who spend R24 on transport per day and I’m left with R36 from which I have to buy lunch, and when I get home I’m expected to have money for bread.

Said another employee, whose colleagues murmured in agreement, “We are ANC activists here and if this is part of job creation as was stated by the president early this year, then it’s a joke.

“Those in charge are making fools of us and then expect us to vote them into positions.”

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