Activists threaten to stop Gugulethu mall opening if local workers aren’t used

29 10 2009

October 27, 2009 Edition 1
Quinton Mtyala – Cape Times

THE Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) has vowed to stop the opening of Cape Town’s newest mall on Thursday – in Gugulethu – unless 80 percent of its employees were from the area.

But one of the developers of the Gugulethu Square mall said AEC activists protesting against the R350 million development were confused. “Yesterday they didn’t want the project. Now they are moaning about jobs, what do they want?” asked Mzoli Ngcawuzele, owner of the Mzoli’s Place eatery.

The AEC accused local ward councillors, tasked with collecting CVs in their constituency, of selling jobs at the project.

“Despite a Jobs@Gugs PR campaign by Mzoli, most of the jobs in the new mall are going to outsiders even though there are plenty of residents without jobs who are also qualified,” said the AEC’s Mncedisi Twalo.

The AEC had in the past been against the construction of the mall, claiming that it would “destroy local businesses, sideline informal traders and undermine the ability of residents to drive development projects in the township”.

Of the accusation that locals were being sidelined, Ngcaw-uzele said it was all a lie. “What we did was take an independent company to hire people from Gugulethu. We’ve done everything transparently. The first preference was to hire the youth from Gugulethu.”

He said the AEC had no proof that people from other areas would be employed.

Spokesperson for AEC Pule Hoeane said, “We don’t want people from Khayelitsha working at the mall. People from Gugulethu are attacked when they’re working in Khayelitsha?”

quinton.mtyala@inl.co.za

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