1000 pitch for 100 jobs

Pictured clockwise, from left, are Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) members Constance Theunissen, Tania Hendricks, Rochelle Dick, Antonio Jaftha, African Restoration Alliance proportional representation (PR) councillor Grant Classen, CCC Mitchell’s Plain steering committee member Charmaine Maarman, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Ward 116 Llewellyn Clayton, ACDP PR councillor George Paige and Mitchell’s Plain Unemployed Residents’ and Local Building Contractors Forum founder and chairman Gerald Brown.

Political party members sought clarity on the selection criteria of 100 local labourers being recruited to dig trenches for the installation of fibre in and around Tafelsig.

A WhatsApp message offering a day of employment, which could lead to more permanent work, caused a bit of a fracas on Monday March 28 when close to 1 000 people pitched at Swartklip sports field.

Subcontractor, Mitchell’s Plain Unemployed Residents’ and Local Building Contractors Forum founder and chairman Gerald Brown said this showed how desperate Mitchell’s Plain residents were for work.

He sent out the message calling for “80 local labourers as from Monday (March 28)”.

“No education needed and anyone will work for a salary”, read the text message.

On Tuesday March 29 Mr Brown, Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association member Danny Rass and Tafelsig councillor Norman Adonis, for Ward 92, met to discuss who is able to dig trenches in Tafelsig.

Mr Adonis had stressed that only unemployed Tafelsig residents, registered on his database would be eligible to work in the ward.

Then, on Wednesday March 30, subcontractors; Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) members Constance Theunissen, Tania Hendricks, Rochelle Dick and Antonio Jaftha; African Restoration Alliance proportional representation (PR) councillor Grant Classen; CCC Mitchell’s Plain steering committee member Charmaine Maarman; African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Ward 116 leader Llewellyn Clayton; ACDP PR councillor George Paige and Mr Brown met on the corner of Spine Road and AZ Berman Drive.

Mr Brown said that they wanted Mitchell’s Plain residents to work in the area and that contractors should not employ people from outside of Mitchell’s Plain.

He said residents living outside of Tafelsig but in Mitchell’s Plain could work in Tafelsig.

Mr Classen said that the only database he knows of is at the sub-council office and that is meant for expanded public works programme (EPWP) opportunities.

Many of the labourers who pitched for work on Wednesday said they were not too sure of the politics but that they needed the work.

Grandmother Gail Adonis, from Eastridge, said she needed to work to put food on the table.

She would be the only one working in a household of six adults.

“Ek is desperate vir werk,” she said.

“The unemployment rate is so bad, we will take any work,” she said.

Ms Adonis said they had no signed contract and that they would be earning R15 for every metre trench they dig 1.5m deep.

Zabonniza Reagon, 30, from Tafelsig, said she needs to work to help her husband feed their five children.

Ms Reagon said it was difficult to get a job with limited qualifications and that it cost money to travel outside of Mitchell’s Plain.