Lebowakgomo Mall in Limpopo could be put to a halt by angry residents

Posted On Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:49 Published by
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The much-anticipated opening of the new Lebowakgomo Mall in Limpopo in two weeks' time could be disrupted by angry residents concerned by the manner in which recruitment of workers is done.

Lebowakgomo Mall

The residents have vowed to halt any move to have the mall opened. This could hamper the economy of the area.

At the centre of the row are allegations that the Lepelle-Nkumpi municipality had reneged on an earlier agreement with the LepelleNkumpi Development Forum, which represents the community.

Forum chairman Phauwe Mphahlele said the IDP Act of the municipality stipulated that any new project coming their way should have at least 90% of its workforce coming from that community, with only managers and supervisors coming from the project handlers.

The mall, which will also house two big chain stores among the 54 shops, is expected to open on April 24.

Mphahlele said the agreement was that 90% of staff in every shop must come from the Lepelle-Nkumpi municipal area since there was a high rate of unemployment there. He claimed that they had discovered that people were being hired "under the carpet".

"We have agreed with the municipality not to use the database of unemployed people on its records because we have our own records of people that we know to be unemployed," Mphahlele said.

He said they had since discovered that some of the people who were being employed come from GaPhaahla, a village near Jane Furse in the Sekhukhune area.

This is the same village where Lepelle-Nkumpi mayor Ivy Phaahla comes from. "Our mayor only came to settle in Lebowakgomo by virtue of employment. She cannot dictate terms to us. We want our people to benefit from the job opportunities presented," he said.

He added that the mall would not open until their demands are met, saying a night vigil would also be held tomorrow in the area before a memorandum was delivered to the municipality on Friday.

Phaahla yesterday refused to comment and referred enquiries to municipal spokesman Khali Maphoso.

Maphoso said there was no reneging on promises as Mphahlele and his group had walked out of a meeting they had held with stakeholders on March 13.

He said they had established a task team to deal with "an observed recruitment process" and ensure that stability and a conducive environment prevailed.

"The team will also resolve any possible dispute and conflict that may arise during the recruitment processes," Maphoso said.

He said the committee would also locate the whereabouts of the CVs submitted by people to Mphahlele, which had disappeared.

"As far as the issue of employment is concerned, it is not the responsibility of the municipality," he said.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:13

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