Jobs protesters turn up the heat
A municipal TLB went up in flames outside the Dordrecht Town Hall on Sunday as angry residents took to the streets.
They want the Emalahleni municipality (ELM) to reverse the hiring of 61 people, whom they claim were illegally appointed by municipal manager Sithembele Vatala and unit manager Owen Ndyumbu on August 6.
Acting mayor Nolitha Lali visited Dordrecht on Friday over the decision, but the meeting turned chaotic after she said there was nothing wrong with the employment of the 61.
On Monday, the protest intensified. The town hall and municipal stores were stoned and everything in them taken to the street and burnt.
Dordrecht resident Mxolisi Masiza said the torchings were sparked by the mayor’s remarks on Friday. “Since then things have gotten worse and all work has stopped at the municipality,” Masiza said as people were becoming more violent, burning state property and stopping municipal staff from going to work.
Sanco Dordrecht branch secretary Phamela Moli said the contracts of the workers hired had lapsed and proper procedures were not followed.
Emalahleni municipal spokesperson Luthando Nqumkana said: “Almost everyone who previously had a contract was given a new contract on opportunities in paving, storm water drains and refuse removal. There is a new contract on environmental conversation management which will give two groups of 15 people six months of work.”
Nqumkana said contracting was project-based and premised on approved business plans submitted for funding.