Cape Town 141017-Learners from Langa high at the exhibition. The world design capital is hosting the Design house "Transforming Cities" exhibition at Cape Town stadium. Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Week-end

Cape Town - The Cape Town Design NPC and the City of Cape Town’s World Design Capital team have rejected Cosatu’s condemnation of “World Design Capital’s racist staff appointments”.

But the union federation has called on the public protector to investigate the appointment of nine white people to a team of 10.

“These appointments are clearly racist when many of the black applicants were better candidates for the job,” said Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich. “This just again confirms that the city continues to preference whites in their employment practices. The city however hides the employment of whites from the employment equity plans by employing the staff under projects at huge salaries.”

The Cape Town Design NPC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation responsible for the World Design Capital programme. The company said on Wednesday the appointment of its staff was in line with employment equity requirements. It operated separately from the city’s World Design Capital team, led by Richard Perez.

Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, said this team comprised 13 people, of whom 10 were part of the designated groups (black people, women and disabled) that made up the 80 percent equity target. The other three came from non-designated groups.

“Employment was done in line with the city’s employment processes. The key positions were highly skilled positions as reflected in the job advertisements that went out at the time,” said Bloor.

Half of the R40 million city budget for the World Design Capital year was allocated to the city’s programme to include operational costs for ward workshops and training.

But Ehrenreich said the “DA cadre appointments” confirmed that the World Design Capital programme was a “glorified waste” of R40m to benefit the ruling party in the city. Both entities were guilty of racism, since the top posts were dominated by white people. He said the money used for World Design capital projects could have been better spent in poorer communities such as Uitsig, where the residents were experiencing health problems because of service delivery delays.

“This city is racist and we call on the Public Protector to investigate this farce so that the mayor and the others can be brought to book for disregarding the needs of poor black people.”

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Cape Argus