Un­paid EPWP work­ers trash cir­cle

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

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.”

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