Some of the employees, who would not be named for fear of reprisals, said they wanted permanent employment for all those employed between 2014 and 2015.
“We also want better salaries that the mayor had promised us before. It was around 2017 when she told us that even though what we were earning was little, at least we were taking something to our families and that the salaries would improve in time.
“We want her (Gumede) and her team to receive our grievances, and should they fail to attend to them, we will find another way of grabbing her attention,” said one employee.
This was not the first time the temporary employees, employed under the national government’s initiative, demanded permanent employment and better salaries from the municipality. In October last year, they protested at the gate of the Alice Street depot, making the same demand.
They complained about their “meagre” R2000 to R3100 salaries while working under appalling conditions as cleaners.
Mthunzi Gumede, the mayor’s spokesperson, said there was no policy that EPWP workers should be made permanent, but individuals were encouraged to apply for positions advertised in the public and private sectors.
“EPWP is part of our poverty alleviation programmes. We accepted their concerns and we will interrogate them.
“The mayor’s office will only give an official response to these once concerns are understood,” Gumede said.
He said demands on the list included being given first preference when vacancies become available, and that councillors not interfere with the employment process.