Locals last in line for jobs

2015-06-23 06:01
A Masiphumelele residents forum claims they are being excluded from jobs on construction sites in the area.

nicole mccain

A Masiphumelele residents forum claims they are being excluded from jobs on construction sites in the area. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Masiphumelele residents are being “deliberately excluded” from development, the Masiphumele Business Development Forum insists.

Forum spokesperson Reuben Hela claims labour on large construction sites is being brought in from outside areas such as Phillipi and Khayelitsha, while locals remain unemployed despite having the required skills.

“Our people are not being considered. We are being purposefully sidelined on public participation processes and sourcing labour,” he says.

As much as 80% of the community are unemployed and rely on casual work, explains Hela.

While many have skills in construction or are able to perform manual labour, the community seems to be last pick in sourcing labour, he says.

With three large developments underway near the township, only one has been willing to hire locally and liaise with the Forum, Hela says, with half the labour on the construction site of the new Sun Valley mall sourced from Masiphumelele.

Other construction companies either refuse to liaise with the forum or the jobs never transpire, Hela says.

People’s Post attempted to reach the three developers working in the area, but none had commented at the time of going to print.

However, most developers do try to source labour locally, explains Civil 2000 chief operations officer Justin Spreckley.

The company recently worked on a development in Fish Hoek, but is not currently on site and no contracts have been awarded for the development as yet, he explains.

“We employ skilled staff permanently, but we employ unskilled labour from the local community as much as we can. This is not only because it reduces transport costs, but also because it’s the right thing to do,” he says. “Most developers understand the social impact they can have, both positively and negatively.”

Hela insists the lack of jobs for locals is even evident at a municipal level, with Masiphumelele residents overlooked in opportunities offered through the extended public works programme (EPWP) of the City of Cape Town.

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, says a total of 1652 people from Masiphumelele are currently registered on the EPWP database.

“For the current financial year, a total of 288 work opportunities have been created through the City’s EPWP in Masiphumelele. Recruitment is done in line with the City of Cape Town policy,” she says.

The policy states that employment opportunities will be limited to residents within the relevant community where the work is done. “Effectively, workers must register with the subcouncil where they reside. No person is allowed to register in more than one subcouncil. Workers are recruited from a specific subcouncil database based on the location of a project,” Little says

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