ANC supporters defend councillor against angry job seekers in Mdantsane
Over 100 people marched to their councillor’s office accusing her of only giving jobs to relatives and fellow ANC members
Over a hundred job seekers and community members from Mdantsante marched in the cold and rain to their ward councillor’s office on Tuesday. They wish to be employed in a local road project, already in its fourth phase.
The group vowed to continue protesting until Buffalo City Metro Mayor Princess Faku agrees to halt the project until more unemployed people from the community are given jobs at the site.
The marchers handed over a memorandum to Speaker Humphrey Maxegwana. In it they accuse Ward 30 Councillor Notyilelo Whittington (ANC) of nepotism, claiming that she only gives job opportunities to relatives and fellow ANC members.
Whittington denies this.
The protesters want her to resign with immediate effect.
Accepting the memorandum, Maxegwana told the crowd that the municipality cannot fire the ward councillor, the matter has to be taken to the ANC. He promised to get back to residents within seven days.
Whittington said the march was orchestrated by opposition parties who are campaigning for 2024. “We are talking about phase 4B of the project. Why now? Some of those people don’t even attend meetings … They don’t even know that as ward councillor I was appointed by ANC, not the municipality.”
She said she was not involved in the project’s employment process.
Resident Khanyisa Tolashe, who had joined the protest, said, “What makes residents angry is that we keep seeing the same faces of people benefiting in projects. We agreed as residents that a person from each family must be hired so that others can have a chance. When we ask we are told that the job opportunities are for ANC volunteers. That is not fair. We are tired of corruption and nepotism. It has to stop.”
Another resident, Thobela Pekula, said the community protested last month to demand that the project be stopped and other residents hired. Pekula said Mayor Faku had visited the area after the April protest and promised that the project would be suspended until the issues was resolved but that never happened.
Outside Whittington’s office, the protesters were met by a group of ANC supporters who were singing. The two groups exchanged verbal insults and profanities before being dispersed.
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