Residents in dispute with cleaning company

Residents marched to Khayelitsha training centre demanding Mega Ndira Resources change their supervisors or stop rendering cleaning services in their community.

Community leaders and residents from various wards in Khayelitsha marched to Khayelitsha training centre to demand that Mega Ndira Resources stop their cleaning services in Khayelitsha in a dispute involving the appointment of supervisors.

The march last week comes after the residents blocked major roads in a violent protest a few weeks ago.

The residents argued whenever a company gets a contract to clean their communities as residents and community leaders they provide the company with workers and supervisors.

They explained that the workers are contracted for a year and when their contract expires they employ other residents, including supervisors.

However, community leader, Xoliswa Mjekula said in this case Mega Ndira Resources refuses to listen to them when they inform them that these supervisors must step down and give other people a chance.

Ms Mjekula said they did not have any issues with the company but wanted the supervisors to step down, which the company refused.

“Some of these supervisors have been employed for ten or three years. The reason why people are employed for a period of a year is to give others a chance to work.

“We then agreed that if Mega Ndira refuses to meet our demands, the best thing is that the City should find another company who is going to do exactly what the community wants.

“We have never had any problems with this company before and never interfered with their own internal process but we stuck to our processes as community leaders and residents.

“When we had the meeting, Mega Ndira Resources suggested that they retain 50% of the supervisors and the community gives them the other half but we refused,” she said.

Some of the protesters take a break.

Mega Ndira Resources project manager, Zukisani Besete said when they got the tender in 2018 they employed supervisors from the areas where they were working and in their understanding these supervisors were going to be employed for the duration of their employment contract as the company.

He said they did not see a need to fire or change these supervisors because they formed part of the management and were excelling in their jobs.

He said they asked the residents to give them valid reasons why they should change the management when there is nothing wrong but did not receive a detailed explanation.

He said in the meeting they had with the residents in January they requested with the residents that they retain 50% of the supervisors and the community brings new supervisors but the community refused.

Ward 96 councillor Lucky Mbiza said the key issue raised by the residents is the matter of supervisors who had been employed for years.

He said residents stopped the company from rendering their services, which left rubbish piling up.

Therefore, he said as councillors affected by this they had meetings with service providers, the City of Cape Town and community leaders and agreed that new supervisors should be employed.

He said they also learnt that the three-year contract which the company had with the City had expired and they were operating on a month-to-month contract.

He said part of the agreement was that while the City has opened up a tender application they will in the meantime provide cleaning services until a contract had been appointed, meaning that Mega Ndira could still work.

Mayoral committee member for urban waste management, Grant Twigg, said he has had a meeting with the community and councillors, as well as the service provider in question whose contract comes to an end in April.

The community has called for the service provider to leave the community due to their refusal to change supervisors after they have been working there for over a year.

The City is working to clear the area while the bid for a new service provider is currently under way. This is expected to be finalised by the end of March and implemented from Monday May 1.