EPWP contract workers took to the street to voice their grievances over prolonged contract employment. Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)
EPWP contract workers took to the street to voice their grievances over prolonged contract employment. Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

EPWP contract workers to turn the city of eThekwini into a ‘pig sty’

By Gcwalisile Khanyile Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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DURBAN - CONTRACT workers under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) have vowed to turn eThekwini into a “pig sty” if their demands are not met.

The disgruntled workers contracted by eThekwini Municipality, under the cleansing and solid waste unit, took to the streets to protest and submitted a memorandum on Wednesday.

Among their grievances was the fact that they were contract workers for eight years.

The deputy convener of the march, Cyril Makhaye, said they were promised employment, but the municipality had not fulfilled its promises.

“The municipality is bringing in people from other areas and giving them permanent jobs, while we continue to suffer,” he said.

He added that food and clothing prices had increased but their salaries remained the same.

In a memorandum, they wrote: “You have pushed us too far now. That is why we need answers today, if not now.”

“We give you only this day to consider all the work that we have made and how bad it will be to turn it around and make it look like a pig sty.”

The contract workers accused the municipality of treating them unfairly.

One of the placards, which they carried during the march, read: “Woza 1 November sibakhombise. No permanent (jobs), no vote.”

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the threats by the EPWP contract workers were disappointing.

“We have never closed doors for negotiation. We want them to come to us.

“Even Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has had meetings with them. They need to understand that these matters cannot be resolved overnight,” Mayisela said.

He added that stability was needed in the municipality. “It is our duty to ensure that there is stability in eThekwini.

“There will always be areas where people do not see eye to eye.

“But we urge all our stakeholders to come to talk to us instead of marching in the streets,” he said.

He said eThekwini would have a meeting on Friday to discuss the issues raised by EPWP contract workers.

Previously, the disgruntled EPWP employees emptied garbage bins and threatened street sweeping staff, which resulted in street sweeping being suspended.

Daily News

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