This week a group of demonstrators picketed outside the labour department offices in Mitchells Plain. The group was led by G@tvol Capetonian, in protest of the appointment of seven black staff instead of coloureds at the offices.
Last year the group challenged the department after seven advertised posts were filled by black employees.
Mitchells Plain resident Rozario Brown who highlighted the issue a few years ago said the minority group [coloureds] should get first preference for government jobs as Mitchells Plain is a predominantly coloured area.
“A few years ago, 47 vacancies were advertised across the Western Cape on various platforms. In December 2018 all vacancies were filled, seven of which was for posts in Mitchell’s Plain that was filled with black employees only,” he said.
Brown said the employment of people from outside of Mitchells Plain was unacceptable as many people applied for the positions. He further said employing people from outside the community that is already in an unemployment crisis caused a great concern to residents.
“Apart from people from the outside being employed, it has been brought to my attention that many of those who were appointed at the department was relatives of existing members which shows that nepotism is taking place at the department,” he said.
Two weeks ago, G@tvol Capetonian staged a hunger strike and refused to leave until they had answers from Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant.
“We want the demographics to reflect that in the Western Cape so-called coloured people are still 40% of the population and when you go inside there you will see its two percent,” said Fadiel Adams of G@tvol.
Provincial Manager for Public Servant Association Koos Kruger said as a trade union their main concern is that of their members.
“The complaints that was lodged with us have no merit as it should be lodged to the department directly, we only prioritise our members,” he said.
Kruger said union is greatly concerned about the way the situation is being dealt with.
“People should understand that our members are not responsible for who gets appointed so the fight should be with the department and not the workers,” he said.
Kruger further said the way the employer is handling the situation is concerning as no measures were put in place to safeguard the workers during the shutdown.
G@tvol said the shutdown will continue indefinitely until the matter has been dealt with adequately.