City jobs ‘an insult’

2017-06-05 14:17
Guidelines flouted as axed temporary staff positions filled on the sly.

Guidelines flouted as axed temporary staff positions filled on the sly. (File)

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Msunduzi Municipality has been accused of flouting the guidelines for the recruitment of workers for the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP).

The posts previously occupied by temporary workers who were axed late last year, were up for grabs on Friday.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed that the municipality had embarked on a recruitment drive for EPWP workers who will be hired on 12-month contracts.

About 1 000 contract workers who had been working for years in ward-based jobs and infrastructure maintenance-related jobs, were axed last year.

On Friday, hundreds of people, mostly clutching brown envelopes, flocked to the city hall to submit their details in the hopes of being hired.

However, the DA in Msunduzi questioned how the City had communicated the message to communities about the jobs available.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said none of the DA’s nine ward councillors were informed about the recruitment drive.

The EPWP grant is provided by the Department of Public Works and comes with its own conditions.

The guidelines of the grant stipulate that the local community must be informed and consulted about the recruitment through all structures available.

“In those wards where there are no traditional structures, ward committees are the only structures there. Ward committees are chaired by councillors. Upon receiving the information that there was a recruitment drive at the city hall, I contacted all my ward councillors to ask them if they were aware of it.

“All of them said they were not. These are the people who are chairing ward committees and I just do not know which other local structure there is besides ward committees,” he said.

Majola said when ward 26 councillor Ross Strachan tried to investigate the matter, he was told by people in his ward that they had received the information from an ANC activist, only identified as Zama.

“When asked about it, that certain Zama allegedly said he had received the information from the office of the deputy mayor [Thobani Zuma]. How can you bypass a councillor and then use a political structure in the ward?”

One of the workers, who asked not to be named, said the recruitment drive was an insult to those workers who lost their jobs last year. “They were slaves for years, doing work that is permanent by nature, but they were temporary workers. Why were they never given permanent contracts? I have heard that these new ones will be given permanent contracts. Most of them are ANC branch chairpersons and secretaries. Some of them are not even from Msunduzi. They were hired just to boost the presidential campaign of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,” said the worker.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the municipality was not aware of people who are not from Msunduzi who had submitted their details. “We are not willing to be drawn into these unsubstantiated allegations,” she said, adding no employment had been confirmed as of Friday.

“We reiterate for the record that potential EPWP workers are selected from data-bases that are kept and maintained by the municipality for unemployed persons within the city,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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