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About 300 members of the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) marched to the Cape Town civic centre on Thursday afternoon to demand equal rights for temporary workers.
They sang and danced outside the civic centre on Hertzog Boulevard, as a line of policemen dressed in protest gear watched.
Samwu Cape Metro regional secretary Mario Jacobs handed over a memorandum of demands to acting city manager Mike Marsden.
Jacobs said the city had misled workers hired under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) – a government job creation initiative.
“Your council is on record stating that the city created some 11 000 EPWP jobs. This is a blatant lie as job opportunities do not translate into real jobs,” he said.
“All you have done is to recycle job opportunities from one poor, unemployed person to another with no prospect of that leading to quality, permanent employment.”
He said the EPWP contracts were being used to replace the work being performed by permanent city staff, which led to increased casualisation of the workplace.
The union demanded that the city negotiate the terms of employment for these contracts before next Thursday.
It was asking for greater job security, health and safety protection, longer periods of employment, and access to training, among other things.
Housing Assembly chairman Mhlobo Gunguluzi, whose members also marched, demanded quality public housing without prepaid water and electricity systems.
He wanted the city to scrap arrears and evictions. – Sapa