Protest: Crowd blocks road after locals overlooked for N3 jobs

2011-06-01 00:00

POLICE were called in to disperse a crowd of protesters outside the VVB Construction site on the Tweedie off-ramp, just outside Howick, yesterday.

Workers are installing fibre optic cables for Neotel and Vodacom along the N3. Disgruntled community members say they were promised jobs, and claim that the construction company has not been fairly advertising and appointing labour. A reliable source at the VVB Construction site said confusion had arisen due to an informal agreement with local ward councillors.

The construction company has to, by law, appoint a certain amount of labour from local communities, and had devised a plan whereby the ward councillors would screen and recommend staff for them to hire.

It now appears that the ward councillors have not been informing the entire community of available positions.

VVB called the police to deal with the protesters.

“The crowd was getting rowdy and we needed the police to disperse them,” said a management source at VVB. Community members say this has soured relations even further, as their gathering was peaceful. “People were not aggressive,” said a community member.

Police spokesperson Lolly Moodley said protesters blocked access to and from the site and confirmed that the crowd disperse peacefully.

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