More jobs to come for houses

2015-12-08 06:00
Construction at the Heideveld housing project is gathering pace with 20 new structures built in the last month. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

Construction at the Heideveld housing project is gathering pace with 20 new structures built in the last month. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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More jobs for local residents will be up for grabs next year as the Heideveld housing project gathers pace.

Anthony Moses, ward 44 councillor, confirmed to People’s Post that more work opportunities will be available in the new year, because the project is committed to the City’s extended public works programme (EPWP), which has been in the spotlight since the project got off the ground in earnest earlier this year.

“The EPWP for me is a big challenge, because we had a rotation of 40 people coming through. The challenge is that many of the local labourers want to work, but they are not able to sustain that work, because they work the one day and the next day they do not want to work. So that is obviously a challenge for us,” says Moses.

He has met with the contractor about this turnover of workers and he plans to have another session with the project manager and contractor to pave the way forward.

“When it comes to local labour, we obviously have so much to do to try and sort out these issues. We have a continuous turnover of people and that is not good. Although the project is at a very slow pace in terms of opportunities, by next year January there will be a heavy increase, because we will have more plans approved. There will be more opportunities for subcontractors if they comply with the rules and legislation that are in place.”

Despite the various hiccups, including community protests, experienced throughout the year, the disruptions may be a thing of the past following the latest project steering committee meeting.

“There were concerns raised in terms of the appointment of the community liaison officer. It was made clear that the officer went through the proper processes and none of us got involved with those job-related issues, so there was a formalised process,” says Moses.

The issue of the court interdict against the protestors led by Pastor Isaac de Jongh also came up at the sitting and culminated in De Jongh walking out of the meeting.

“De Jongh wanted to justify his court issue, but the steering committee said that the court had dealt with him and that it was a done deal,” Moses says.

“He then tried to get rude in the meeting and then the committee made a call that his place at the meeting will become redundant as he is going against the terms of reference, after which he left the meeting.”

Need for speedSpeaking to residents in the area, some of whom have already approached Moses, the overwhelming sentiment is that the houses need to be completed and handed over to the 738 beneficiaries who are approved for the project.

Their names are publicly listed at the library.

Moses says he is all too aware of the potential political gremlins that may surface.

“There are residents who have come to see me. They have also become aware that it is no longer about the real issue about fighting for the cause of the beneficiaries and dire needs of people. They also realise that now it is about money and making a name, but what is important is that we can now see that we are moving speedily with the project and that there have not been any more disruptions.”

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