Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba has terminated the R1 billion Jozi@Work programme, which he said was being used to further enrich wealthy members of the ANC.
Jozi@Work was a programme with work packages valued at just over R1 billion. The programme was designed to create an opportunity for communities to partner with the city, in the delivery of municipal services in their own neighbourhoods.
“During last year’s election campaign I was struck by how communities despised the unfairness of the city’s projects to provide short-term work opportunities under the banner of Jozi@Work,” Mashaba said in a statement on Thursday.
“Without fail, every community explained to me that these work opportunities were handed out on the basis of membership to the previous governing party. If you did not hold such a membership card, there was no real point in trying,” he said.
The mayor explained that each project was outsourced to a middle-man, known as a Capacity Support Agent (CSA), “which effectively became a patronage network for the previous governing party. These CSA’s became rich overnight while many in our communities remained without work opportunities”.
Msahaba said that the city is currently beginning work on a new programme which will be unveiled to the residents of our city. “This programme will be modelled on fairness and equal opportunity,” he said.
“These opportunities will benefit the poorest of our city, not the overnight millionaires that the city seems to have prioritised in the past.”
It will involve:
- The removal of the CSA ‘Middle-Man’;
- The city employing community members directly;
- Work opportunities being handed out fairly from a legitimate indigent register maintained by the city, against which people will have to apply on a yearly basis;
- Work opportunities being rotated among individuals on the indigents list in such a manner that more people benefit, and benefit equally and fairly;
- More residents benefiting under more co-ops, achieving greater levels of service delivery under the various departments.
Mashaba said that the work to implement this new programme is projected to take six months, given that it is premised on the establishment of a credible indigents list.
“It is an indictment on the previous administration that we have inherited a situation where this city currently operates without such a list,” he said.
Mashaba’s move to terminate the programme sparked fury among those people who were involved with it, with many using various social media channels and radio interviews to express their anger, while also rejecting Mashaba’s claims that it favoured ANC members.
The ANC called it a sad day for over 8‚000 workers and 112 cooperatives/local companies in Johannesburg.
“Through Jozi@Work‚ the ANC government put over R3 billion aside for the benefit of cooperatives and local companies. The move by Mr Mashaba will inevitably take away this money from the poor and unemployed residents of Johannesburg who had found work in the programme.”