Samora residents take to streets

2018-11-15 06:02
Traffic was brought to a standstill on Oliver Tambo Road in Samora Machel last Thursday.PHOTO: uNATHI OBOSE

Traffic was brought to a standstill on Oliver Tambo Road in Samora Machel last Thursday.PHOTO: uNATHI OBOSE

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Residents in Samora Machel’s Ward 33 brought services and roads to a standstill last week, as they accused the incumbent councillor of nepotism in the employment of locals.

Councillor Sithembiso Mzobe came under fire when irate residents barricaded Oliver Tambo Road with rubbish, severely disrupting morning peak hour traffic.

Mzobe faced the heat of his constituency, who alleged that he has been flouting municipal laws by “going door to door at night” to recruit people to work on local municipal projects. They accused him of nepotism and of being in breach of City of Cape Town’s employment code of conduct, failing to draw people from the municipal data base.

Tania Mbebe, one of the residents and a spokesperson for the group, repeated claims that the councillor “went door to door, at night, registering people for work instead of taking names from the City’s data base.”

She added: “According to the City’s employment code of conduct, people are supposed to be hired for a period of six months, but now (some)people are hired for a year or two, to clean the area,” she claimed.

Mbebe claimed the project was for the community not for individuals.

“(The)Councillor is employing his close friends and comrades. If you belong to other organisations other than the ANC, you will not be hired,” said Mbebe.

However, Mzobe has rubbished the claims as “false and unfounded”.

“There is no such a thing that I went door to door registering people for employment,” he said. People who are employed in these community projects are drawn from the data base. The City sends the list to me and the company that is going to be doing the work.

“All I do is to screen the names and confirm if the people have never worked(in the project) before.”

But Ncediswa Qondo, from Sanco(South African National Civics Organisation), also accused Mzobe of being “arrogant” and “distant from his community”. She said he had failed to attend community meetings, with no apology forthcoming. “I cannot remeber the last time we had a meeting with him,”said Qondo.

Mzobe said the protest was not about him, but his crime was to halt the services of people who had been “illegally hired” by the service provider. “I dismissed about five people who had been illegally employed.

Roger Roji, a supervisor at the company in the eye of the storm, said the community had put a lot of pressure on the councillor and he yielded.

“Our aim was to continue cleaning until the pressure from some residents forced us to stop,”said Roji.

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