The brawl between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its opposition, the DA, has worsened with Joburg’s mayor, Herman Mashaba shutting down ANC’s Jozi@work Programme claiming it enriches only a few ANC members.
Mashaba on Thursday, announced a complete cancellation of the City’s R1 billion co-production, Jozi@work Programme, which was inaugurated by the past ANC administration in the municipality.
Explaining why he has to do this, the mayor said the programme was littered with patronage and that it’s in line with his plan to turn the economy of our City around.
“I am pleased to announce the end of an era of patronage with Jozi@Work. I maintain that we have to turn the economy of our City around and ensure that real work opportunities are created for our residents,” he said.
Jozi@Work programme was launched in September 2014 and was designed to allow communities to partner with the city in the delivery of municipal services in their neighborhoods. The programme is also said to have employed over 8 000 workers and 112 cooperatives/local companies in Johannesburg.
But in his quest to eradicate corruption from the city, mayor Mashaba said he has to cancel the “vanity projects” which was worth R270-million per year.
Those projects include, among others, mushroom farms, paper produced from stone, solar-powered bakeries using mango flour imported from South America, and the implementation of bicycle lanes.
The Mayor also claimed to be perturbed by how communities despised the unfairness of the city’s projects to provide short-term work opportunities under the banner of Jozi@Work.
Again, he said communities had been complaining that these work opportunities were handed out on the basis of membership of the previous governing party.
“Each project was outsourced to a middleman, known as a Capacity Support Agent (CSA), which effectively became a patronage network for the previous governing party. These CSA’s would become rich overnight while many in our communities remained without work opportunities,” Mashaba said.
“After a mayoral committee held last week, I am pleased to announce the end of an era of patronage with Jozi@Work programme.”
Meanwhile, the ANC branch in Johannesburg slammed the cancellation of the programme saying that it not only helped the city’s residents, it also provided job opportunities for the unemployed.
“Today is a sad day for over 8‚000 workers and 112 cooperatives/local companies in Johannesburg.” The ANC said, denying that the programme served the party alone as claimed by the DA, and that the DA had no evidence to prove that community members were required to produce ANC membership cards before admission to the program.
“Over the last three years, the ANC Government in the City of Johannesburg took a bold and unprecedented step to implement a groundbreaking community driven service delivery program called the Jozi@Work program. Through this program, the city created thousands of jobs for the unemployed residents of Johannesburg,
“It is therefore, irresponsible for Mr. Mashaba to say that the Jozi@Work program was meant for ANC card-carrying members. The program was for every resident of Johannesburg
“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 program,” the ANC said.
Not minding their claims, Mashaba said he has instructed his administration to start work on a new programme to be modeled on fairness and equal opportunity, which would be unveiled in six months’ time.
Among the changes in the new programme would be the removal of the CSA, with the city employing community members directly. Mashaba said the new programme will be re-branded so that it is no longer associated with the patronage and unfairness of the past administration.
Mashaba said he was looking forward to announcing the launch of the new programme as the city begins a new era of bringing fairness and opportunity to our residents.