HUNDREDS of previously unemployed workers have been tasked with the job of cleaning up the city since October, thanks to BCM’s Community Workers Project.
In October, 50 ward councillors across the city identified 10 unemployed people within their ward, who they believed would be capable of undertaking the task. These people were then employed by Buffalo City Metro three days a week for six months.
After a short training course on how to fill small potholes, workers began cleaning out gutters, sweeping the streets, filling potholes, slowly bringing about meaningful changes to each suburb.
Ward 4 councillor Tessa Botha, who oversees the Cambridge, Cambridge West, Selborne, Berea, Chiselhurst and Highgate areas, said she was disappointed that such a small team was hired to fix such a large area. “It takes a lot of time because they are doing manual labour. I encouraged the team from my area to tackle smaller jobs to make a bigger difference,” Botha said. “The project gives previously unemployed people temporary financial relief knowing they’ll get some sort of income, especially over the festive season,” Botha said.
BCM spokesman Sibusiso Cindi said the project was aimed at improving service delivery in BCM and alleviating unemployment.
He said that though this project was temporary, workers would be absorbed by the metro and become permanent when it received funding.
Bernie Nel commented on the GO! & Express Facebook page saying: “Would make a big difference if they fix the roads in Egoli Township #JustSaying my pocket can’t keep repairing tyres”.
Buffalo City ratepayers forum secretary, Christo Theart, said that although he had seen some potholes being filled, he was not optimistic about the state of the roads. “We need to see a drastic increase in the budget. I would also like to see them using hot bitumen to repair the potholes,” Theart said.