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Western Cape
Apr 25 2012 9:28AM
 
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Nombulelo Damba

Protesters from Phillipi's Ward 35 had a stand off with protesters from Ward 36 as both groups marched to the construction site of a new shopping plaza yesterday where the allocation of casual labour jobs is being contested.

The total number of protesters was about 1000. People hurled rocks and insults at each other, but no injuries were reported.

Work at the construction site was brought to a halt as the two factions protested at the gates.

From Ward 35 in Philippi 600 residents demanded 60% of construction jobs go to people from their ward.

Residents claim the site is in their ward and they have the right to receive the majority of the casual labour jobs. They accused the project's steering committee of corruption and hiring people from the areas they came from, rather than locals.

Residents said the process of employment must be redone with residents from all surrounding areas represented.

"This project belongs to Ward 35, but all the people working here are from Ward 36. We demand everything start afresh. As residents of Ward 35 we demand 60% of employment."

But an opposing group of 400 protestors from Ward 36 in neighbouring Crossroads demanded construction continue.

Project manager and developer Andile Peter said: "We have a number of people from Philippi (Ward 35) working at the project. This is not about the residents, it's about two people who always benefit from every project in the area and they're mobilising people to fight their battle.

"Their problem is they want us to hire people through them so they can get money before it goes to people. Before the project, we informed residents about the project and they were happy," said Peter. – WCN

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