Protest sends mayor rushing to Bhisho

Rochelle de Kock

IN a bid to resolve the plight of primary healthcare workers in Nelson Mandela Bay a delegation, including mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, went to Bhisho late yesterday to meet Health MEC Sicelo Gqobana.

This follows a protest by about 100 nurses outside the City Hall yesterday, demanding answers about their future.

The workers wanted confirmation on whether or not they would receive their salaries next month, after it emerged last week that the municipality would not have enough money to pay healthcare workers from next month, unless it received the R103-million owed by the provincial Health Department.

Wayile, along with public health executive director Dr Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni and health portfolio chairwoman Pam Ndlovu, went to Bhisho to meet Gqobana and superintendent-general Dr Siva Pillay to resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, in another protest, about 60 Bay building contractors demanded answers from the municipality about the delay in signing off on the roster system, which would see contractors listed on the municipality’s database benefit from municipal projects.

The contractors tried to storm a human settlements portfolio committee meeting yesterday, demanding to speak to the chairman, Fikile Desi, and human settlements acting executive director Kosalin Naicker.

One of the contractors, Somzana Matinise, who spoke on behalf of the group, said Naicker did not want to sign the proposal to give the go-ahead for the roster system.

“He [Naicker] is blocking service delivery because with the roster system everybody will benefit from construction projects.

“We don’t want the tender process because it is corrupt and only benefits the big companies.

“The roster was supposed to be out 90 days ago already.”

Matinise also blamed political infighting in the Bay for causing the delay in the signing.

“This roster thing has become political and we want them to keep politics out of it; we want the officials to be neutral and not be influenced by the political situation.

“Naicker only pays the big contractors and not us small contractors,” Matinise said.

Naicker refuted the allegations, saying he was still investigating all the concerns around implementing the roster.

“The point of the database, or roster, is to indicate to the metro that these are all the contractors that are involved in construction and to give all an opportunity to benefit.

“I am still busy trying to get all the findings on the matter,” Naicker said.

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