COMMUNITY ASSISTS STRANDED WORKERS
By: Sthabiso Mdledle and Nqobile Maphalala
The community of Molweni has raised concerns of safety issues towards a construction company’s men who’ve been living in tents for the last two months.
More than 13 men live in these camping tents, despite the changing weather conditions and lack of safety and security.
These tents are situated near the main road, near a school, a police station, and at a sports field used by school children.
According to these men their construction company, Simangaliso Civils Company, is responsible for their living conditions.
Bhekikhaya Madela, from uLundi, who works at the construction site, said that living in the tents is inappropriate and uncomfortable.
“Our company should be covering our accommodation since we travel from city to city fixing the potholes on the roads, but instead we are offered tents,” said Madela.
Ronald Lamula, from Escort, also an employee said that he used to rent a room every time he went in a different city for work, because of the poor condition they live in. Renting can become
expensive, bearing in mind that month end we also have families to go back to.
“It is safe at all living in tents in the middle of the bushes. We have not experienced any robbery, but we fear for our lives,” said Lamula.
Sthembiso Mchunu, ward councilor, said that it is a violation of human rights.
“The conditions they live in is unbearable, no human deserves to live in such conditions bearing in mind the changing weather and their safety as well,” said Mchunu.
The community is trying its best to help these men, supplying them with water as they do not have a tap where they are situated.
Elias Mokoena, operations manager at MM Projects a construction working under Eskom, told JournalismIziko that these claims can be true depending on the nature of the project or
“We have had cases where our workers were sleeping in tents in rural areas where we were building towers transmitting electricity, however, it was not permanent and in bad weathers
workers are transported back to the original camps where we have proper shelter,” he said.
He added that their workers are given a subsidy for rent in townships and are transported to work on a daily basis.
Simangaliso Construction Manager was not available for comment.