The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) on Thursday distanced itself from Jozi@Work workers who left a trail of destruction in their wake in central Johannesburg late on Wednesday while protesting against the canning of the programme.
The protesters disrupted nightshift Pikitup workers who were cleaning up the city streets. The union said it opposed job creation through the tender system.
“It has since come to our attention that Jozi@Work participants involved. We condemn the intimidation directed at our members and workers in general by the participants. Our position on Jozi@Work and programmes similar to this such as the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Community Works Programme (CWP) has long been made clear,” the union said.
“Our opposition to these programmes are guided by our ideological posture coupled with our congress resolutions that we will oppose the delivery of municipal services through the tendering system, institutionalisation and privatisation.”
The union accused that municipalities of no longer investing in staff development, hiring more staff but instead using programmes such as Jozi@Work for the delivery of basic services.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba shut down the multimillion-rand Jozi@Work programme after taking over the city last year, saying it enriched a few members of the African National Congress (ANC) patronage network.
The programme was designed to allow communities to partner with the city in the delivery of municipal services in their neighbourhoods. It was launched by the previous ANC administration in September 2014.
The ANC has accused Mashaba of reversing the progress it had made in job creation through the programme, and denied that Jozi@Work benefited a select few of its members.
– African News Agency