The City of Tshwane strongly condemns the torching of its depot this morning in Mabopane, north of the city, by a group of disgruntled former employees whose contracts under the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) known as "Vat Alles" have expired.
At about 08:00 a group of 45 people descended upon our Waste Management Depot in Block A, Mabopane, and broke down the security gate, burnt the stock of waste bins, an asbestos office and a kitchen. They also damaged the security cubicle and the toilet windows. The Rosslyn Fire Division was quickly dispatched to the depot to extinguish the fire.
The former "Vat Alles" employees have been responsible for a series of service disruptions and chaos across Tshwane since the beginning of this year after the expiry of their contracts. We call upon law enforcers to take action against those that have been vandalising City of Tshwane assets and intimidating our employees. No amount of intimidation and thuggery will deter us from continuing to deliver services to our people. A case docket has been registered with the local police.
The EPWP is a national initiative aimed at reducing unemployment and alleviating poverty through the creation of short-term, labour-intensive work opportunities.
The reformed EPWP recruitment policy framework was passed by Council on 28 September 2017 as a principle of "good governance". Candidates were recruited in a transparent and fair manner. The City embarked on a recruitment campaign late last year and managed to register more than 120 000 potential beneficiaries on its central database and renamed the programme "Gata Le Nna", which means "Walk with me".
One of the proposed amendments to the revised policy included the selection of eligible beneficiaries through an open and audited lottery-like system.
In December 2017, the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Solly Msimanga, oversaw a "lottery" of over 3 000 beneficiaries for EPWP, some of whom commenced their duties at the beginning of the year.