‘Where are our jobs?’

2019-06-12 06:01
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaPolice try to reopen Thwala Road after a protest on Thursday.

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaPolice try to reopen Thwala Road after a protest on Thursday.

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EVERYTHING was brought to a standstill at Mbalenhle Clinic on Thursday morning as angry residents of Ward 22 shut down the clinic and blockaded Thwala Road with burning tyres.

Public Order Policing had to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd and reopen the road.

Residents say some community members were promised cleaning jobs at the clinic in January this year, and since then have heard nothing about the employment.

They say 15 members of the community from Ward 22 were selected and promised to be made cleaners at the clinic. They were expected to commence work on February 1.

One of the residents, who did not want to be named, said this is not the first time that they have protested for cleaners’ posts at the clinic.

“We held a protest in January where we demanded that the cleaning company hire some of our community members since the clinic is situated in our area.

“People were promised that they were going to start working in February. They were called to Mbalenhle Clinic and were given boots and were measured for uniforms. They were also asked to open bank accounts, where their salaries will be paid into.”

Another resident said: “Companies come here and hire people from outside our ward while we have a lot of people who are unemployed. We are not saying that they must hire people from our ward only but we want them to hire some of our community members.”

Nobody knows the name of the cleaning company they are supposed to be employed by.

When the Echo approached Mbalenhle Clinic for comment to find out details of the company, they were referred to the Department of Health (DoH), however these details could not be provided.

Department of Health spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said: “The department regrets the disruption to normal operations at Mbalenhle Clinic due to protest action by the local community.

Several meetings have been held to resolve this impasse. But ultimately, the matter concerns the contracted service provider. It is therefore suggested that more details be sought from them,” she said.

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