The joy of getting a job and being able to provide for their families quickly turned sour for a group of 12 KTC residents.
The group was apparently employed by Mafu Enterprise towards the end of last year to clean and collect rubbish in their community.
They were informed that they would sign their contracts at the beginning of this year.
However, due to community infighting and other issues, they were only able to sign their contracts on Thursday February 1 and again, their joy was short-lived.
A group of angry residents, including former community leaders, told them that they were not allowed to do their work.
Mluleki Andries, one of the people meant to start working at the beginning of the month, said they had not anticipated any problems after they signed the contracts.
On Tuesday February 5, the workers barricaded various streets in the area with rubbish and other heavy objects to show their anger and frustration.
Mr Andries said that they had already lost their January salaries and could now lose their February salaries as well.
He said they were worried that they might lose their jobs if they did not start working soon.
As part of the cleaning project, Mr Andries said people were allowed to work for a year. He said they were frustrated by the impasse as they had already made their budgets.
He said they tried in vain to get help from the company.
“We simply want to work. The contract of these people is over. Actually, we should have started working in January but we could not because these people were told to work by certain community leaders.
“If they are going work for two weeks in February is that not going to affect our salaries because we will have to work for the remaining two weeks as well. Why are these people playing with our emotions. Is it because we are poor,” he said.
Mr Andries said they raised their grievances with the ward councillor, Khaya Yozi.
He said they were planning to intensify their actions if their grievances were not resolved.
A woman from Mafu Enterprise refused to comment. Instead, she questioned how Vukani got her number.
Another worker, Nomwelela Xhego accused former community leaders of wanting to hire their friends and relatives.
She said these people stopped them from signing the contracts.
Mr Yozi told Vukani that he had a meeting with the workers to hear their grievances.
He said the workers would start working soon and those that were working had been told to stop.
He attributed the stalemate to ongoing community divisions.
He alluded that all was well and things would go back to normal. He said additional people would be employed from the community.