Local contractors demand to be hired

Jobs that need doing in Heideveld should be done by local contractors, who need work now more than ever, and not outside companies, say residents.

Last Thursday the Ward 44 Forum set up a roadside table in the community to hear from the unemployed, collect CVs of those applying for jobs, and help businesses get registered so that they could apply as subcontractors for projects in the area.

Its chairman, Isaac de Jongh, said the ward’s councillor, Anthony Moses, had let jobs go to outsiders instead of giving his constituents a fair chance to bid for them.

Locals were frustrated that their applications had failed, he said. Mr De Jongh said he had raised the issue with Mr Moses, but nothing had happened.

“The parks, the road, the fibre projects were all jobs we applied for, but no one gets it,” he said.

“A community liaison officer was appointed for the roads project, but he does not even know the area. It is really not fair. The CLO should know what happens in the area and what the area needs.”

Covid-19 had put many out of work, people were hungry and job opportunities were needed now more than ever, he said.

The ward councillor should put his own constituency first, he said.

“More than 2000 people are unemployed in Heideveld, and every time they think they will get a job when a project starts they don’t get it. The only way these youngsters will stop committing crimes is if they become employed. Why are we not being recognised?”

Resident Rupert Meyer, 52, said he had the tools to repair the staircases of Heideveld’s flats, but the contract for that job had gone to a company outside the area.

“It’s really all about who you know,” he said. “The coronavirus has done so much damage to our households, but we can’t get jobs in our own areas. Our residents are fed up.”

However, Mr Moses, said everyone had a fair chance to apply for the jobs and he was not in charge of hiring contractors for ward upgrades as the City put the work out to tender.

In the staircase project, 12 residents of each block had been given work, he said.

Companies could not apply for subcontracting jobs if they were not registered, he said.

“When an upgrade happens, the City opens the tender and companies are allowed to apply. The sub council then makes a list of registered and suited companies for the job and hands it over to the City to go through the process,” he said.