27 May 2019
SAMWU to seek clarity on City of Johannesburg “Job Creation” Project
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted with concern plans by the City of Johannesburg to implement a “job creation” project as announced by finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni when presenting the city’s 2019/20 budget. According to Ngobeni, 1400 people will be “employed” by the City.
We usually get excited whenever we hear of plans to create jobs in municipalities as this will ease the workload of municipal workers, improve the quality of services rendered by municipalities and most importantly assist in reducing the country’s high unemployment rates which now stands at 27.6%. This announcement however is very concerning to us and municipal workers in general.
Our concern with this project is derived from the ambiguity which has been used by Ngobeni when announcing this project. Ngobeni announced that the City would be spending R100 million for “visible service delivery workforce” and that “these workers will augment the current services deployed across the City” according to Ngobeni, the newly recruits will be responsible for weeding, litter picking, street sweeping, stormwater desilting and other related functions.
Our second concern is that the City has already appointed 10 workers per ward without any council resolution to that effect. These vacancies have not been advertised, as is a legal requirement for the City to do so before filling any vacancy. We fully agree with Ngobeni that by getting more workforce on the ground, service delivery and the quality thereof will be improved. We however believe that if the City wants to address the “drag” in service delivery they should rather capacitate those units by hiring people after following the City’s employment policies and council resolutions.
Our other concern is that we do not know the nature of the employment contract that the City will enter into with these workers. We are worried that the City may be bringing back programmes such as Jozi@Work and Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) disguised as a new job creation project.
SAMWU remains opposed to the delivery of services through programnmes such as Jozi@Work and EPWP as they are exploitative in nature. We firmly believe that municipalities should hire people permanently and directly. The jobs functions of these new recruits are permanent functions of municipalities and as such municipalities should hire people permanently and directly so they too can earn decent salaries and benefits such as pension and medical.
We will therefore be requesting a meeting with the City’s management to get a full understanding of the project and how it would be rolled out.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
(073 254 9394),
Deputy General Secretary
(084 806 4005)
National Media Officer
(073 710 0356)