Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/Independent Media
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/Independent Media
File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Independent Media
File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Independent Media
Johannesburg – The African National Congress (ANC) in the Joburg Region on Thursday took offence at the canning of one of its flagship programmes in the City, and accused Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba of deliberately starving the unemployed.

This comes after Mashaba on Thursday cancelled the City's R1 billion co-production programme [email protected], which was spearheaded by the previous ANC administration, saying that it was littered with patronage.

The ANC said the cancellation of the [email protected] programme was a "direct attack" on the thousands of Johannesburg residents who were unemployed but found jobs through the introduction of the [email protected] program.

"Today is a sad day for over 8 000 workers and 112 cooperatives/local companies in Johannesburg," Jolidee Matongo, ANC Greater Johannesburg spokesperson said in a statement.

"Over the last three years the ANC Government in the City of Johannesburg took a bold and unprecedented step to implement a groundbreaking community driven service delivery program called the [email protected] program. Through this program the city created thousands of jobs for the unemployed residents of Johannesburg." The ANC said the [email protected] projects had put over R3 billion aside for the benefit of cooperatives and local companies.

File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Independent Media

"The move by Mr Mashaba will inevitably take away this money from the poor and unemployed residents of Johannesburg who had found work in the program," the ANC said.

But Mashaba said he had been struck by how communities despised the unfairness of the City's projects to provide short-term work opportunities under the banner of [email protected]

He said communities had been complaining that these work opportunities were handed out on the basis of membership of the previous governing party. But the ANC denied this, saying that no evidence was presented to it to prove that community members were required to produce ANC membership cards before admission to the program.

"It is therefore, irresponsible for Mr Mashaba to say that the [email protected] program was meant for ANC card-carrying members. The program was for every resident of Johannesburg."

Mashaba also said the City was starting work on a new programme to be modelled on fairness and equal opportunity, which would be unveiled in six months’ time The ANC Greater Johannesburg Region then suggested that Mashaba must not terminate the employees currently employed in the [email protected] program, and also live up to his commitment to employ community members.

"Mashaba and the City of Johannesburg must ensure that opportunities in a rebranded [email protected] program continue to be subjected to transparent, open and public processes," Matongo said.

"It is also absurd for Mr Mashaba to say that the City under the ANC administration never had an indigent register. We ask Mr Mashaba to contact the relevant city officials to get the database of indigent residents."