Unpaid EPWP workers trash circle
THE POLICE were called in yesterday to intervene when EPWP workers threw trash and burnt tyres at the circle in Seochwareng Street in Galeshewe after their salaries for October were not paid.
The workers are also demanding a R105 per day increase, unemployment fund benefits, bonuses, sick leave and off days.
“We have worked for the past five years, earning R85 per day while working long hours recycling refuse. They bring us masks and gloves when they feel like it. We are forced to work even if we are sick, otherwise we do not get paid. Money is deducted for our overalls and tools to do our jobs. We want to be paid for the whole of December, although we stop working on December 16. It is not our fault that there are holidays.”
The workers also stated that the payment of salaries was not always on time and that they do not receive the same amount each month.
“We were supposed to receive our stipends on October 15. We will strike until we get our money. We have hungry mouths to feed. We are sick, we are smelly, we are everything.”
According to the contractor, Kazia Engineering, payment was delayed from national treasury due to changes in its management structure and bank signatories.
“We employ 530 workers in the Sol Plaatje municipal district. Workers were informed that there might be a delay in payment, but it could be processed at anytime. While they are rightly impatient, it is beyond our control. National Treasury has assured us that they will activate the new account as soon as possible. It is not a crisis, it is a mere inconvenience.”
Spokesperson for the Department of Roads and Public Works, Crystal Robertson, stated that, in accordance with Treasury regulations, it was the responsibility of service providers to ensure that their details were immediately updated on the central supplier database.
She added that the department had alerted the company about a week ago whereby they had indicated that they were in the process of verifying their new banking details.
“In addition to this Kazia Engineering deleted their profile from the system and submitted their new information to Treasury. The department is not involved and does not play a role in the registration process itself.”