Irate field workers and supervisors say they have not been paid for the Census 2011 count they were contracted for.
On Tuesday, a number of people employed to conduct the census streamed in and out of the Statistics SA building demanding money owed to them since November 10 or November 23.
Many said they had been receiving SMSes apologising for the inconvenience.
Census 2011 project director Calvin Molongoana, said they were aware that about 3 000 supervisors and enumerators across the country had not been paid.
They had liaised with various Absa branches and they were dealing with the problem.
He hoped all would be paid by Friday.
Molongoana said that some people had experienced problems with their bank cards which had been deactivated because they had tried to make withdrawals before the money was paid.
Those who attempted to withdraw on more than three occasions had their cards “blocked”.
But angry workers were not convinced and tempers flared at the offices on Tuesday as the workers vented their frustrations.
Charles York, who worked as a supervisor for the month, said that hundreds were affected and lined up at the Stats SA building in the city centre since 6am on Tuesday – many of whom staged a sit-in at the offices.
Police were called in to monitor the situation.
The census field workers were to be paid about R5 000 and supervisors R7 000.
The workers were given bank cards to withdraw their money from Absa.
York said: “It was dangerous work – some of us were working in dangerous areas and a lot of people were hurt… they are exploiting the unemployment situation in our country.”
Some of the contracted employees who were paid said they had complications with money “mysteriously disappearing” from their cards.
Natasha Daries, who worked as a supervisor, was paid on November 23, but R700 had been withdrawn from her account – money she said she had not touched.
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