By BO Staff Writer
The following statement was previously published on the Black First Land First website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
“It’s a victory – 98% absorption of the JMPD EPWP’s led by BLF
Black First Land First (BLF) Johannesburg Region which in solidarity led the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) interns in their just struggle for permanent employment, celebrates the progressive victory of 98 % absorption of these interns which was implemented yesterday. The JMPD interns have been part of the Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP) since 2010.
The JMPD EPWP’s fight is related, amongst other things, to them being sidelined, neglected and ignored by the JMPD for permanent employment after having complied with all the necessary requirements. In this respect they had undergone an intense training programme which has capacitated them to serve as trainee members of the JMPD and by extension full time members when appropriately employed. Various attempts by the interns to obtain permanent employment were in vain. In this regard they had been perennially threatened by their senior directors whenever they asked them uncomfortable questions. The interns then approached the BLF Provincial leadership for assistance.
The purpose of the EPWP, as indicated by notice in the Government Gazette which was signed by the then Minister of Labour Mrs NM Oliphant on the 10th of April 2012, is “[t]o develop skills and to create work opportunities for the poor and unemployed people of South Africa so as to half unemployment by 2019 through delivery of community services”. This however has not been adhered to. Our people who are trained and competent have been historically neglected. Moreover new interns are recruited and hired to replace them through corrupt means.
BLF has also noted similar trends happening to the EPWP interns within the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH). To this end we have initiated certain interventions and we call on all the EPWP workers within the Gauteng Province to contact BLF leadership in this regard.
It has been a long and tortuous road to the current progressive victory. In this regard our various interventions including engaging with the ‘Leadership and Human Capital’ department of the JMPD following a protest picket on 18 October 2017, and numerous subsequent meetings are instructive. It must also be pointed out that BLF even engaged the Mayor of the City of Jo’burg, Herman Mashaba, on 13 February 2018 which did not bear any fruit. This was followed by us engaging in mass action via a progressive march to the JMPD Academy in Booysens on the 16 February 2018. During the march, when we reached the academy, we delivered our final memorandum of demands to the director of special operations Max Khanyile. In this regard we threatened legal action should our demands not be met. In this context the victory won is a culmination of all the above interventions in the long struggle engaged in thus far.
BLF would like to further state that our victory is not over yet. Our struggle to get absorption of those few EPWP interns who are now said to be over the required age limit still continues. These interns have been servicing the JMPD from 2010 while they were still within the age limit – they exceeded the age limit (became overage) within their service period.
BLF demands the immediate absorption of these ‘overage’ interns within the ‘Law Enforcement Department’ of the JMPD. We will not rest until this demand is met!
Issued by Gauteng Provincial Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First
15 March 2018
BLF contact details:
Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First
Sikhumbuzo Mazibuko ( GP Chairperson )
Cell no: 060 6756 827
Siphamandla Masimula ( GP Secretary )
Cell no: 082 071 5310
Gubisto Mafa ( JHB Secretary )
Cell no: 078 6854 875″.