‘No membership card, no job’

Several residents picket over what they claim was favouritism in the hiring process. They are seeking legal actions to halt the project.

LIMPOPO – With the news the Waterval Stadium near Elim was going to be rebuilt, many residents were happy and hoped they would get jobs from the development.

This, however, was not the case as they were told if they did not have a valid ANC membership card, they would not be hired.

“We were told to gather at the stadium and draw small pieces of paper marked with either a yes or a no, like in a raffle. We were told if one draws the paper with a yes it meant we had the job. I was one of the people who drew one which was marked yes only to be told that I will not be hired because I was not part of the people who campaigned for the ANC during last year’s municipal elections,” said Tinyiko Koza, a local resident.

On Friday, the angry residents gathered at the stadium where the rebuilding process has already started, trying to stop the process until the hiring process was conducted again. The rebuilding of the stadium is part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) projects which aim to create job opportunities for the residents.

“If you’re not part of the ANC you will remain unemployed in this country. We were supposed to benefit from this project, but we are not. Instead people who are not from our area benefit just because they are friends with the local ANC councillor who is responsible for the hiring process,” Koza added.

Another resident of the Waterval area, Lucky Chabalala, said: “I was told that I cannot be hired to work on the project because I didn’t campaign for the ANC during last year’s local elections. I am not a member of any political organisation but that does not mean I cannot work on community projects”.

DA leader in the area, Sylvester Mulaudzi, said: “These people are using this project to push their political agenda, if you’re not a member of the ruling party you will never get hired. This must end because our people cannot suffer because they are not part of the ruling party”.

The local ward councillor who is also a member of the ANC, Nyiko Mashawe, refuted the claims, saying the proper channels were followed during the hiring process.

“The whole community cannot work on a single project and only a few were lucky to be hired to work on the project. We still have other projects which are coming and more people will be hired to work on them,” said Mashawe.

The angry residents in the area are seeking legal action to halt the project.

thoko@nmgroup.co.za

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