‘We won’t work with zombies’ - carwash workers

2018-12-28 06:00

“Sorry, we won’t work with zombies,” these are the words of four young people who visited the Fever recently, complaining about the Greater Kokstad Municipality Local Economic Department (LED) forcing them to add certain members to their carwash cooperative.

The four Bongweni Carwash members said two councillors together with LED threatened to close down or deregister their Bongweni Carwash if they refuse to add more members to their cooperative.

Siyabonga Qephu, Nkosinathi Tibe, Siyabonga Ndungane and Themba Satywa said the municipality is forcing them to work with people who act like “zombies” when they smoke Nyaope, popularly known as “Whoonga”.

“We won’t concur with our municipality. Imagine including people with strange behaviour, who are aggressive and violent towards our clients,” said Qephu.

Nyaope is described as a highly addictive, dangerous, destructive drug and is made up of lethal ingredients including rat poison, dagga, heroin and antiretroviral pills.

The Bongweni Carwash started a few years ago at Bongweni township in Kokstad to create job opportunities among the youth.

“When they handed over the carwash to us there were seven members, three members passed away and now we are only four members,” said Qephu. He said the carwash was not funded by Greater Kokstad Municipality but it was funded by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA). Greater Kokstad Municipality only donated land for the carwash.

“This carwash helps us to put food on the table,” said Nkosinathi Tibe a member of the co-op.

Greater Kokstad Municipality spokesperson Nthabeleng Matshoba said the carwash was established to alleviate poverty through municipal local economic development.

She said their aim was to curb unemployment among the youth of Kokstad.

“Initially, the council took a resolution in 2012 that such an enterprise must be established, and it was eight members at the time. We assisted them with construction of the car wash, connection of water and purchasing of equipment,” said Matshoba.

She said some members of the community had complained about being excluded from the carwash. She also accused some members of the carwash of trying to “hijack” the operation for their own benefit.


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