Protesters stop traffic on Qumza Highway

Disgruntled residents of Mdantsane NU 11 demand fair recruitment in projects that take place in their community
Disgruntled residents of Mdantsane NU 11 demand fair recruitment in projects that take place in their community
Image: Sibongile Ngalwa

A rotational system of roadwork jobs in NU11 was behind Wednesday’s protest and stoppage of traffic on Qumza Highway in Mdantsane.

Demonstrators also claimed that jobs were being given to people outside the ward, which they felt was a breach of earlier promises that the work would be shared out among community members.

The troubled Qumza Highway upgrade, which commenced in 2016, was brought to a stop when BCM pulled out of the contract they had with the construction company that had started the project.

A new company was then hired – and trouble flared.

The residents complained that their councillors had told them that for the duration of the project there would be a contractual agreement that jobs would be rotated every six months, meaning someone else in the NU11 community would get a chance to work.

They said they noticed that people not from their ward were getting the work.

When a new contractor came on site, the same people who were working when the project stalled got their jobs back.

Ndileka Mboto of NU11 said they had sent their grievances to BCM a number of times, but got no response.

Ward 48 councillor Vuyiswa Mpanza said there were processes that had to be followed.

Contractors bring their own skilled workers and residents could not dictate to them whom to employ.

Mpanza said a ward general meeting would be held on Sunday to explain to the community how the recruitment process worked.

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