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“Jobs heartbreak! Gatvol job seekers hold officials hostage!” Source: Daily Sun Date:03 July 2013

July 4, 2013

The front page and lead story of SA’s largest daily newspaper, July 3 2013:

FOR five years, they have stood by as jobs promised to them went to other people. And whenever they complain, they are told to be patient. WE HAVE WAITED ALL THESE YEARS. HOW LONG DO YOU STILL WANT US TO BE PATIENT, THEY ASK!

The storming of the offices of the Emfuleni Local Municipality is only the latest chapter in a drama that started in 2008. With tears streaming down her face, a desperate 46-year-old job seeker standing outside the offices told Daily Sun about the frustration and anger of hoping and praying that the call will come.

“I keep hoping I will go back to the job I lost all those years ago,” she said. “We come here to the offices and they promise us that soon there will be work. But we just keep waiting.”

The angry job seekers claimed more than 40 other people have been given jobs while they still waited to be called to start work. Cops and paramedics were called to attend to a hostage situation at the offices in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal, south of Joburg, on Monday afternoon.

This was after former municipal workers who used to work for the Expanded Public Works programme shut down all entrances and exits to the municipal building and demanded to speak to senior managers.

Four municipal officials, including personal assistants, Khethiwe Ntombela from Corporate Services and Ndaba Maseko, the deputy municipal manager for Corporate Services, were held inside the building.

Dozens of men and women repeated the story: They were promised jobs in 2008 after their short-term contracts expired, and have been waiting ever since for the municipality to offer them permanent jobs.

The angry unemployed people used to collect rubbish, swept streets and cleared stormwater drains. Preferring to remain anonymous as she feared victimisation, another woman said: “Former mayor Sithole Mshudulu promised we would be offered jobs after our contracts lapsed in 2008.”

The job seekers were arrested and detained at the Vanderbijlpark SAPS holding cells. They were later charged with public violence. Emfuleni Local Municipality spokesman Stanley Gaba said the municipality could not employ all the men and women in one intake.

“We’ll absorb them in phases as we cannot take all of them at the same time,” he said and repeated the message the job seekers have been hearing for five years: “They need to be patient.”

Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said a total of 23 people – eight women and 15 men – were arrested and charged with public violence. He said they will appear in court today.


From → Jobs

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