Mitchells Plain ward councillor accused of sidelining unemployed youths

The councillor says jobs are randomised by the Expanded Public Works Programme office and “no politician or councillor has influence in the process”

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About 50 people, supported by the Unemployed Youth Development Forum, protested outside City of Cape Town offices in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, on Tuesday. They were accusing their ward councillor of ignoring their needs. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

A group of unemployed young people from Mandalay and Montclair are accusing a Mitchells Plain ward councillor of sidelining them when it comes to job opportunities.

“We want [the councillor] to treat us the same way he treats others within the same ward. The City is helping youths and the unemployed to obtain driving licences but the project is not happening in Mandalay and Montclair,” said Lelethu Kashe, a community activist fighting unemployment and inequality.

Kashe joined about 50 people, supported by the Unemployed Youth Development Forum, in a protest outside the City of Cape Town offices in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, on Tuesday.

In a memorandum they accuse ward 76 Councillor Avron Plaatjies (DA) of only selecting people from Montrose Park and Lentegeur for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) jobs.

“EPWP job placement and working periods must be shared and the verification process must be followed. Tender processes must be properly processed so that community structures are informed,” the memo says.

There is also confusion over under which subcouncil the two communities fall.

Community leader Shakes Mahlaba said, “The City tells us we belong to sub council 12, which is in Khayelitsha, but when we go there they say we belong to this side [Mitchells Plain].

“When it comes to job opportunities for the youth, we are told that we fall under Khayelitsha. Firefighters and ambulances, which used to come to Mandalay, now need police escort because the area is deemed a red zone.”

Plaatjies told GroundUp that he and the sub-councillor manager have previously met with the Mandalay youth unemployment forum.

“The notion that Mandalay is not given opportunities is not true. Their frustration is that they want people from Mandalay to work in Mandalay, but that is not decided by the sub-council. It is randomised by the EPWP office and no politician or councillor has influence in the process,” he said.

Plaatjies said he plans to attend a meeting with the community on Thursday.

TOPICS:  Unemployment

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