'Our children are suffering because of Solly Msimanga' - Operation Vat Alles

2018-01-26 17:20
Operation Vat Alles employees at Burgers Park in Pretoria. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

Operation Vat Alles employees at Burgers Park in Pretoria. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

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Pretoria – Hundreds of protesters, some clad in their orange "Operation Vat Alles" overalls, gathered at Burgers Park in Pretoria on Friday morning to embark on a march to shut down the CBD.

The protesters, who marched from the park to Tshwane House, were protesting against Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga, claiming that their work contracts had not been renewed.

MMC for Human Settlements Mandla Nkomo and MMC for Environmental and Agricultural Affairs Mike Mkhari received a memorandum from them.

ALSO READ: Police make two more arrests following Krugersdorp protest

"The City of Tshwane have disappointed us because we want the permanent jobs they promised us," worker Margaret Mantsho said.

Mantsho said the R2 100 that they earned every month helped to put food on their tables and pay school fees, but "now that is gone".

"Now our children are suffering because of Solly Msimanga and his people. We are not here for the politics, we are here to work," she said.

'We have a duty to be fair and equitable'

Msimanga’s spokesperson, Samkelo Mgobozi, said Operation Vat Alles is a group of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) beneficiaries whose contracts came to an end.

Mgobozi said they were afforded the opportunity to participate in Gata le Nna, which is the mayor's EPWP programme, which is in a lottery format.

"Claims by the EPWP beneficiaries that they have been excluded from the programme are not true. They are upset that they are all not included after having benefitted for a number of years. We have a duty to be fair and equitable to all the unemployed people of Tshwane," Mgobozi said.

A second worker, Caroline Sandy, said they voted for Msimanga because they were promised change.

WATCH: Terminated Tshwane EPWP workers demand permanent jobs from Solly Msimanga

"Today we are demanding our jobs back and our salaries that we worked for. Solly Msimanga must come and explain to us what he is trying to do. We won’t sit back and watch, we will shut down Tshwane," Sandy said.

In a statement, Msimanga said EPWP work opportunities were not permanent. Instead, they were offered as part of a programme that must "impart meaningful skills which enables beneficiaries to exit the programme and enter the world of work with better prospects".

'Political interests'

"All unemployed people in Tshwane deserve the opportunity to benefit from these work opportunities. It is unfortunate that the opposition is using this sensitive matter of bread and butter to advance their political interests," Msimanga said.

According to Msimanga, 307 Operation Vat Alles participants were selected, which constitutes 9.5% of Gata Le Nna.

The 307 constitutes 7.8% of the 3 922 Operation Vat Alles participants that registered on the database.

There were 3 820 Operation Vat Alles participants in the 2017/18 financial year who signed employment contracts, and only 3 301 registered on the database during last year's recruitment drive.

He said, of the 3 301 registered, only 289 were selected to participate in Gata Le Nna.

The 289 constitute 8.7% of the 2017/2018 Operation Vat Alles participants selected to the new project during the first lottery selection.

Read more on:    solly msimanga  |  pretoria  |  service delivery  |  protest action  |  unemployment

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