About a dozen uniformed workers from the Sol Plaatje Municipality arrived in Porpoise Street, Homelite, on Tuesday to start surveying the area, which has been earmarked for the paving of a dirt road.
However, they were prevented from starting work by angry residents, who are demanding that people from the area be employed to work on the project.
When the DFA arrived in Porpoise Street, dozens of residents stood in the street, while the municipal workers, who were “chased away” by the residents, were sitting in a yard in the area.
“When we woke up this morning we found a truck carrying several workers, all Roodepan residents, who were sent to survey the road. However, we will not allow residents from outside Homelite to get jobs working in our suburb, while our own people are unemployed and poor. We told them to rather leave, as we will not allow this project to go ahead if our own husbands and children cannot get the jobs,” the irate residents said.
They added that while they did not want to start a fight, or even make it a political issue, they only wanted their own people to get work.
“Our children resort to drug use and theft as they cannot get work, but when a project finally gets authorised in our own area, they are forgotten. We refuse to stand by and watch how outsiders take the bread out of the mouths of our own people.”
Meanwhile, the municipal workers sat idly under a tree, saying that others had already left, fearing violence from the residents.
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie, on Tuesday confirmed that Porpoise Street was in the process of being tarred and said that while the municipality was sympathetic towards the large number of unemployed residents, they should not stand in the way of the implementation of service projects.
“While we will always consider workers from the area where projects take place, we also can’t deprive others from benefiting from these opportunities. We will, however, do our best to include a wide range of people in these projects,” Matsie said.
Diamond Fields Advertiser