9 March 2023
Dozens of youths burned chemical toilets, tyres and rubbish on Japhta Masemola Road in Town Two, Khayelitsha, on Tuesday evening. They were protesting the lack of development in the area and unemployment.
Aviwe Singqomo, who joined the protest, said they wanted street cleaning and toilet cleaning jobs. “We place our names on the City’s database, but we still don’t get the jobs.”
Mandilakhe Mathiso, who led the protest, confronted ward 93 Councillor Thando Pimpi (ANC) with the protesters’ grievances.
“We want the youth to get 60% of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) jobs here, or no one will work,” said Mathiso.
Mathiso said the protesters want the City of Cape Town to roll out learnership programs for the youths.
“We want to be trained in things like plumbing and carpentry so that we can survive. Currently we don’t do anything because we have no skills or trades,” he said.
Mathiso also raised a range of other issues that residents in his area face, including broken street lights, crime, a lack of recreational facilities and flooding caused by overflowing storm water drains.
Pimpi said he met with the youths on Wednesday but could not reach an agreement. He said he will meet them again. As a ward councillor he cannot promise that the youth will constitute 60% of EPWP jobs as the City selects from its database. Pimpi said a service provider showed him a list of EPWP workers o Thursday morning and most of them were youths.
On learnerships, Pimpi said, “When they are available, I post learnership programmes on community WhatsApp groups and put up notices at the community hall.”
Western Cape police spokesperson FC van Wyk said, “No arrest has been made” in connection with the burning of chemical toilets and tyres.