’Construction companies need to employ locals’
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Residents in Forest Village, Eerste River, who are seeking work, handed a petition to a construction company about its hiring practices on Tuesday.
The petition was given to the management of Power Construction, who are building 800 houses in the area.
Resident and community leader, Mlamli Lizo, said 60 people had signed the petition to voice concerns about employing locals in the housing project.
“The community suspects that the foreman is giving tenders to subcontractors outside the area,” he said.
Lizo said people in the area have seen subcontractors show up for work on construction sites belonging to Power Construction.
“We have heard from people in the area that this is happening. Some people stay close to the sites, have seen it take place.”
Forest Village residents said they were frustrated that people from outside their area were getting work on the construction sites.
Lizo said they had been engaging with the company for the last two months in an effort to help secure jobs for residents.
“We have a high unemployment rate in the area. There’s so many of us not working, and they don’t choose us for jobs.”
He added: “The people from this community should be the ones benefiting from work in this area. The pandemic has meant that many of us have lost our jobs, and we are in need of employment.”
Lizo said they were told they would hear back from the company but did not receive any progress reports.
“They told us they would get back to us before August 9, but they didn’t. After the long weekend, their HR person resigned, so we had to continue our communication with someone new.”
He added: “Every job opportunity that should be afforded to the people in the area is being given to people outside of it,” he said.
“People in the area might start vandalising their property and we want to avoid that, which is why we approached Power Construction.”
Power Construction declined to comment.
Ward councilor for Forest Village, Jerome Fitz, said in the past, they’ve been fighting a losing battle against companies like Power Construction.
“We established a Ward 16 business forum to be more proactive when job opportunities become available,” he said.
He added: “Some time ago, Asla Construction, with the help of the provincial Human Settlements Department approached the High Court for an interdict against the Ward 16 Business Forum for trying to get more jobs for our local residents.”