Picture: Danie van der Lith/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Danie van der Lith/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

EPWP workers protest over permanent jobs

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Sep 8, 2020

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Pretoria - Municipal workers under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) on Monday picketed outside Tshwane House demanding to be given permanent jobs.

The workers started singing outside the building in the morning, calling for the metro to phase out the outsourcing of workers with immediate effect.

The group was led by the Academic Professional Staff Association, which has been at the forefront of the workers’ course of action.

In February, the association spearheaded another march to the municipal headquarters, bringing traffic in the CBD to a standstill.

On Monday, demonstrators vowed to camp outside the building until the municipality acceded to their demand.

Among those who took part in the demonstration were cleaners and EPWP workers.

Organisers had hoped that one of the administrators would receive their memorandum of demand despite that they didn’t notify them beforehand.

However, none of the administrators was available to attend to them.

Demonstrators then vowed to stay put, with some vowing to spend the night in front of the municipal building.

Spokesperson Mahlomola Ledwaba said: “Our main issue is about the insourcing of contracted workers. We are demanding that all workers in Tshwane must be insourced.”

He said workers’ representatives were told to make appointments if they wanted the administrators to attend to them.

“We are not going to make appointments. We would rather sleep here until someone listens to us. If the municipality is able to pay ghost workers it means it can afford to insource contracted workers as well.”

He said the association expected 4 000 outsourced security guards to be part of the gathering. This was despite the fact that the guards had distanced themselves from the picketing, accusing organisers of wanting to hijack their agenda of insourcing.

The guards have been waiting to be hired permanently after they applied for posts advertised last year under a new in-house security directorate called the Asset Protection Unit within the Tshwane Metro Police Department.

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