By Emily Setona
KESTELL – The Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality has recruited 80 community members through a raffle system, to work on community development projects in Harrismith and Kestell for a period of 12 months.
Thabo Mofutsanyana executive mayor Conny Msibi says the district’s department of infrastructure headed to the two towns to provide instant employment to community members under its environment conservation project that is aimed at cleaning these respective communities.
“When the government employs one person in a family, the whole family benefits. This has always been the way of ubuntu, a culture that our communities should continue to uphold.
“When we employ an individual, we are assisting a family. This project is aimed at reducing poverty. The project is implemented in two of Maluti-a-Phofung towns, namely Kestell and Harrismith, it alleviates poverty in the two towns which are often overlooked as most projects are implemented in QwaQwa.
“The government has been criticised for not doing enough for its people, but we as a district are here today to change the situation. We have a project that is going to immediately employ a few people in the community. This move will surely have a huge impact on the families that will have this one extra person working,” Msibi when addressing a large crowd gathered at the Multipurpose Hall.
TMDM ‘s Director of Infrastructure and Transport, Bernard Mphahlele, said the project will be a 12-month environmental scheme coming directly from the district, and will focus on cleaning storm water drainages, parks and dumping sites.
A total amount of 80 unemployed men and women were hired, 60 from Harrismith and 20 from Tlholong, Kestell. Of the 60 employed in Harrismith, two are a man and a woman living with disabilities.
“While working on this project, this group of people will be workshopped in different areas such as financial management. This will enable them to save money and perhaps buy some stock and generate other income on those days during the month when they are not working on this project. We are looking for hardworking individuals who will be willing to work together with the district to improve the cleanliness and hygiene of our communities,” Mphahlele said.
The process used in both Harrismith and Kestell was a raffle draw, hence it was done in a manner that is both fair and transparent.
Everyone was given a piece of paper where they had to write down their personal details, name, ID number and residential address.
To balance the scales of gender equality 11 jobs were reserved for unemployed women and 9 unemployed men.
One of the 11 women, Jabulile Mashinini, could not conceal her excitement when her name was announced.
“I am shocked and very happy to be employed today because I have a child in grade 11. I will save my earnings and buy my child brand a new uniform for grade 12 next year,” she told The Guard.
Community members working for the municipality under the Community Work Programme (CWP), or the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) cluster were asked not to take part in the selection process because they are already receiving aid from the government.