Residents up in arms over jobs

2017-04-26 06:00

Scores of job-seeking residents of Seven Days location in Bloemfontein are up in arms over alleged job reservation by Khosi Mogapi, Ward 3 councillor of the ANC.

Residents are accusing Mogapi of sidelining them from getting employment at upgrading projects underway in the area and from participating in the process to improve the residential settlement.

These are improvement projects driven by the Mangaung Metro Munici­pality.

At the height of accusations, angry residents threatened to burn down Mogapi’s house if their grievances are not speedily addressed by the Mangaung mayor, Olly Mlamleli, and the local leadership of the ANC. Residents complained that they were being deprived of job opportunities at projects aimed at improving well-being.

Zolile Mangcotywa, ANC chief whip in the Mangaung Metro, has confirmed that a concerned group in Ward 3 approached him last month to discuss their grievances. He said the group also disrupted a recent community meeting called by Mogapi to elect a steering committee to oversee progress of the projects.

At the height of threats and disruptions last Wednesday (19/04), aggrieved residents barricaded Fort Hare with burning tyres and stones.

Most of the jobs in question are temporary, but residents are desperate to find employment in order to earn money to provide for their families.

According to Palesa Mokoena, a resident in Seven Days, Mogapi has apparently only listed her faction to work at construction projects currently underway in the area.

Mokoena alleged that Mogapi also elected a steering community and community liaison officers without engaging the community. Mokoena said complaints lodged at the ANC’s Kaizer Sebothelo offices have fallen on deaf ears.

Another resident, Lerato Dipoko, accused Mogapi of disrespecting residents when they raised concerns over service delivery in Ward 3.

“I’m an ANC supporter, but some leaders within the organisation are abusing the party’s policies for self-enrichment. The ruling party is abusing even those who put it in power,” Dipoko said.

This is not the first time residents have been protesting against Mogapi. Last year in May residents demonstrated against her election as a Ward 3 councillor after the ANC allegedly flouted processes.

Mogapi is the daughter of the ANC Motheo regional secretary, Paseka Nonpondo, who allegedly shuffled Mogapi into the councillor seat after stepping down last year.

Previously the ward was represen­ted by Xolo Pongolo for a decade.

Mangcotywa said Ward 3 currently does not have a committee to represent the community at projects being run in the area. He said Mogapi is expected to hold another meeting with the community to iron out issues they have been at loggerheads with residents over.

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