Protesters bring road project to a halt in KwaNobuhle

They believe unemployed youths from their ward are being sidelined

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Ward 47 Councillor Nonthuthuzelo Skweyiya speaking to disgruntled residents after a protest on Tuesday. The residents believe unemployed youths from their ward have been sidelined for the municipal project in the area. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

About 100 people gathered on the corners of Mabandla and Jabavu roads in KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage on Tuesday afternoon after bringing a project to resurface the road to a halt.

The group believe unemployed youths from their ward were sidelined for the project.

The 400-metre project to resurface Mabandla Road is a project of Mashwabatha PTY (LTD) and is said to cost over R300,000. Residents gathered in the road and demanded that ward 47 Councillor Nonthuthuzelo Skweyiya (ANC) come to address them.

When Skweyiya arrived, she reprimanded residents for contravening lockdown rules by calling a mass meeting. “Social distancing has not been adhered to in this gathering. I don’t want to be arrested. I don’t have R2,000 to pay as a penalty for not adhering to Covid-19 regulations.”

Skweyiya, who was wearing a blue mask, told residents that she had consulted the Development Committee of ward 47 over the employment of local residents in the project.

“I don’t blame you for taking this action. But this gathering is illegal,” she said.

To which resident Mathews Martin warned, “Don’t threaten us with the word Covid-19. Obviously we will be robbed by politicians these days. When you met business people to talk about this project, you sat all the time and never thought about Covid-19 … Be careful, you may end up being the victim of this protest.”

Another resident, Phindile Rolo is the chairperson of all voting district committees in ward 45. He said, “Committees are supposed to employ. Today I saw a woman wearing All Star takkies whilst working on the road in this project, and she does not even have a reflector vest. This is exploitation of our people and we cannot allow that to happen on our watch.”

Skweyiya then excused herself from the meeting and urged the group to take up their issues with the contractor.

The group dispersed and agreed to return at 10am on Wednesday.

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TOPICS:  Unemployment

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