‘Unfair job placing’

2018-03-13 06:01

Angry locals gathered at a new construction site in Manenberg on Wednesday morning to seek answers from the City of Cape Town.

They say a new development plan being rolled out in the area without involving the residents in the process.

The group also raised concerns after observing job opportunities, which include openings in the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), being granted to the same residents year after year.

“There are several developments in our area and this process has led to contractors from outside Manenberg coming into our community and giving our people the low-paying jobs, whilst those not living in Manenberg are enriching themselves. We have approached the ward councillors to address these concerns which have fallen on deaf ears,” says Tara September, a community activist.

“As indigenous people we continue to be marginalised in a democracy which continues to fail the people. The resources in the hands of the City belong to the people and the people should determine how these resources are to be used and how they will benefit development of the community. I don’t think it is fair to have people waiting on promised jobs from the City.”

September says City opportunities are given to the same people, while desperate and willing unemployed individuals are still waiting on an uncontrolled database.

“These job opportunities and other beneficial programmes are not granted to everyone in Manenberg. The same people are always chosen, while others have been waiting between six and 11 years. We want an investigation done on this matter to see how things are run in these subcouncil offices.

“New people come and are told to put their names on the list and are given the opportunities immediately. We discovered that they are also being interviewed by the supervisors or contractors where the subcouncil is supposed to do that. I am not sure if they have a proper database for our people in Manenberg­.

“There is no proper monitoring of who is being granted jobs and who is still awaiting jobs. The subcouncil must follow up and must have a record in response to placements.”

The EPWP focus on skills development and is a project used by the Western Cape government to reduce the levels of poverty and unemployment in the province.

It gives the unemployed access to temporary work.V Continued on page 4.

Angry locals gathered at a new construction site in Manenberg on Wednesday morning to seek answers from the City of Cape Town.

They say a new development plan being rolled out in the area without involving the residents in the process.

The group also raised concerns after observing job opportunities, which include openings in the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), being granted to the same residents year after year.

“There are several developments in our area and this process has led to contractors from outside Manenberg coming into our community and giving our people the low-paying jobs, whilst those not living in Manenberg are enriching themselves. We have approached the ward councillors to address these concerns which have fallen on deaf ears,” says Tara September, a community activist.

“As indigenous people we continue to be marginalised in a democracy which continues to fail the people. The resources in the hands of the City belong to the people and the people should determine how these resources are to be used and how they will benefit development of the community. I don’t think it is fair to have people waiting on promised jobs from the City.”

September says City opportunities are given to the same people, while desperate and willing unemployed individuals are still waiting on an uncontrolled database.

“These job opportunities and other beneficial programmes are not granted to everyone in Manenberg. The same people are always chosen, while others have been waiting between six and 11 years. We want an investigation done on this matter to see how things are run in these subcouncil offices.

“New people come and are told to put their names on the list and are given the opportunities immediately. We discovered that they are also being interviewed by the supervisors or contractors where the subcouncil is supposed to do that. I am not sure if they have a proper database for our people in Manenberg­.

“There is no proper monitoring of who is being granted jobs and who is still awaiting jobs. The subcouncil must follow up and must have a record in response to placements.”

The EPWP focus on skills development and is a project used by the Western Cape government to reduce the levels of poverty and unemployment in the province.

It gives the unemployed access to temporary work.

Ward councillor Bonita Jacobs says: “The group came to my office in town and I was told by the officials they became persistent and demanding to see me. As councillors we encourage our people to go and register at their subcouncil to become part of the City’s EPWP. This is a job opportunity for people that are unemployed, but we must also encourage them to become part of other programmes being offered by the City.

“On numerous occasions I have asked for a list of people working in ward 45 coming from ward 45 so that I can inform the subcouncil. I have received nothing. People are desperate for work and the subcouncil accepts the information that’s filled in on the form. The subcouncil will not know if the applicant gave an address that is outside of ward 45 to have employment­.”

Jacobs say people are encouraged to keep the subcouncil informed when their contact details change. 

“The allegation of people being on the database for more than 10 years is a serious concern and must be addressed. All subcontractors in the wards must be encouraged to register themselves on the database, and with regard to the allegation that the same people are working – identify them.” 

The City’s Mayco member (Central), Siyabulela Mamkeli, says it is important to note that the City’s jobseekers database currently consists of more than 450 000 registered people. Registration on the database is not a guarantee of receiving a work opportunity, he says. 

“The database system selects potential workers through a computerised randomisation process that was designed to minimise human interference in the identification of workers to be considered for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) projects. 

“The randomisation criteria are informed by the nature of the project as clearly defined by the line department implementing or executing a specific service, and includes consideration of age, gender, skills, the nature of work preferred by the jobseeker and the location of a project.”

Mamkeli says this means that because there is no discrimination set on the basis of people living in the same household, it is possible that members of the same household can be selected for the same project through the computerised randomisation process. 

“The approved management of the Jobseekers Database Policy governs the selection process and provides for strict controls in respect of limiting political interference and undue influence. A standard operating procedure is currently being finalised which will provide further support and guidance to officials when dealing with EPWP recruitment and selection processes.

“Moreover, the City will soon be embarking on an education campaign to local communities to dispel myths and misconceptions about the recruitment and selection of jobseekers from the database, among other EPWP matters. 

“The EPWP and subsequent implementation processes are always audited by the auditor general of South Africa, making the EPWP one of the most critical service delivery initiatives of the City.”

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