Protests over jobs at ’Plain labour office

The aggreived group of protesters outside the Department of Labour office in Town Centre.

A small group of Mitchell’s Plain community leaders protested outside the Department of Labour on Monday January 22 because “not a single coloured or Indian person” was among the seven employed to fill seven vacancies at the office.

Sulyman Stellenboom called the protest following a Facebook post on Tuesday January 16 by Mitchell’s Plain resident and founder of the DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival, Rozario Brown, in which he wrote: “The Dept of Labour in M/Plain had 7 vacancies for Client Service Officers. They filled all 7 posts! Not a single coloured person!”

Despite his explicit reference to race, Mr Brown added: “This is not about race. This is about the rule of the law, equality and fairness. Minority groups have the right to equal opportunities.”

In a letter sent to the Department of Labour, Mr Brown posed questions about the recruitment process, stating that his son’s application had been dropped off in a Mondi Rotatrim box, marked “Mitchell’s Plain”, at the department’s offices.

“I saw many other boxes for other branches and I can confirm that most of those boxes were full of applications,” he wrote.

The department responded to Mr Brown, in writing on Friday January 19, saying that he should make an application in line with the Promotion of Access to Information Act No 2 of 2000 (PAIA) if he wanted further information about the processes followed.

Mr Brown said: “I find it unimaginable that out of the thousands of applications received by the department, the department could not find a single coloured person to appoint at its Mitchell’s Plain office -an office, which services a predominantly coloured community,” he said.

Mr Stellenboom went into the department’s local office at 10am on Monday January 22 demanding an explanation.

He and five other people met with a department representative at 4pm on Monday, who gave them the same response which had been given to Mr Brown.

They are calling on those who applied for the 140 advertised vacancies at the Department of Labour offices across the province, to contact them.

For more information call Mr Stellenboom on 078 333 3072.

At the time of going to print the department had not yet replied to questions by the Plainsman, but we were assured they would respond this week.

The questions we posed to
the department related to the appointment processes and the outcome of the meeting with Mr Stellenboom.

We also followed up with questions about their employment equity policies, the demographics of the current staff at the office, and who is serviced by the office.

The Department’s response will be published when we receive it.