Angry protesters get their money

PAY US NOW: Construction workers protest in front of the City Hall as they wait for payments to be processed Picture: MIKE HOLMES
PAY US NOW: Construction workers protest in front of the City Hall as they wait for payments to be processed Picture: MIKE HOLMES

CONSTRUCTION workers and small business owners shut down Nelson Mandela Bay municipal buildings yesterday, demanding that a civil engineering company be paid so that they could receive their salaries today.

More than 100 protesters disrupted a municipal infrastructure and engineering event, refusing to leave until the money allegedly owed by the metro to Masakeni Construction was paid.

SMME leader Baba Ningi said the municipality owed the company – which in turn owed its workers and SMMEs – about R22-million which was about four months overdue.

While they waited for the money to reflect in the company’s account, the municipality’s budget and treasury department was processing payments which came in three tranches.

The first payment was for R3.1-million, the second R4.1-million and the third was R2.4-million.

This was enough to appease the workers, who said they would be able to be paid their salaries and bonuses today, before the company shut down for the festive season.

Numsa organiser Bhongo Mfuniselwa said it was clear that their strong-arm tactics had been necessary as “if we didn’t come we would not have been paid”.

Earlier, the protesters went to the Lillian Diedericks building, where it is alleged they broke a garage door.

When they arrived at the City Hall, they packed up all the white chairs that had been laid out for the infrastructure launch event.

Masakeni Construction executive Morne van Vuuren could not be reached for comment.

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