Residents fuming over payment

Freedom Park workers Herman Bartie and Ursula Fry at one of the poles they installed.

Freedom Park residents who were enlisted to work on the installation of streetlights and reinstatment of pavements in the area are up in arms that some of them were underpaid – or not paid at all.

According to the workers, 77 poles were installed between March and July, but the 31 workers only received full payment for the period between March and May.

But for the June/July cycle, said one of the workers, Herman Bartie, some of the workers were not paid in full.

According to the City of Cape Town, Momotheka won the tender for the work, and subcontracted it to TSL.

Community liaison officer Adielah van Schalkwyk who is also a resident of Freedom Park, said six people did the reinstatements of pavements for the July/August cycle but did not receive their money.

She said the workers started on July 27 and finished on August 22. She said the amount owed totalled R15 000.

“This is very disappointing. People were paid short, one of the guys was paid short R2 460.53. The workers have worked hard, and them not being paid for their work is very upsetting,” she said.

Mr Bartie said they have contacted the City of Cape Town, and the two contracting companies on numerous occasions.

“We have called all three parties, and have not received positive feedback.

“Momotheka is the company who pays us, but they have not responded to us regarding payment. We have to support our households and cannot afford not to be paid,” he said.

Another worker, Sulaiman Fakie, said he wanted answers from the City about what happened with his payment. “All we have done thus far is wait. I was paid short and not paid for a full month. We can’t wait anymore, I have a family to take care of, so all we are asking is that the company respects us,” he said.

Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services said there had been a delay with processing on the City’s side which contributed to the overall delay.

“The City has contacted the owner of Momotheka who advised that he would ensure that the issue is resolved by the end of the week,” he said.

“TSL hired the workers and is therefore responsible for their payment. The City has a tender in place with Momotheka who has subcontracted the work out to TSL. “On a monthly basis or when the project is complete, the tendered company would issue an invoice to the City.

“The invoice is audited and, if agreed to, payment is issued against the invoice. In this regard TSL employed the workforce directly so the City has no role in the subcontracting agreement. The City has an agreement with Momotheka,” he said.