Local artisans outraged by ‘outsiders’

Angry, disappointed and disrespected.

This was the collective feeling among the nearly 500 local artisans, who gathered to protest outside ArcelorMittal Newcastle Works Tuesday (October 30).

The artisans claim they were informed only 35 per cent of local artisans would be employed by a sub-contractor of the steel giant for a two-day shutdown, expected to take place in November.

“Why would you employ people from other provinces when there are hundreds of skilled workers right here who need jobs and are more than capable doing the jobs required?”

According to Nhlakanipho Mhlanga, the artisans from Newcastle, oSizweni and Madadeni voiced their concerns outside ArcelorMittal, hoping this situation would be rectified.

“We have hundreds of skilled and qualified artisans right here in our very own community, but instead of giving us jobs, they went ahead and hired outsiders. How is this fair? What about us? How are we supposed to feed our families if we cannot make ends meet, and we cannot make ends meet if we do not have work!”

Christopher Nkabinde shows his qualifications as a fitter, and wonders why he has not been employed yet.

Thuli Nkosi explained how hard it was for her to find a job, and said it meant she could not look after her two children, her mother and her four siblings, who looked to her for a steady income to survive.

“I completed my studies here and even did my training within ArcelorMittal, but I was never hired and now to find out that outsiders have been given jobs instead of us is disappointing; it has negative implications on our own people.”

Vuyo Mtawa of ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) Head Office: Corporate Communications said that as the leading steel producer in southern and sub-Saharan Africa, the company took its role as a significant contributor to the national economy very seriously.

“The company is also cognizant of its impact on the socio-economic development of local communities and, as such, makes a considerable effort to hire employees from communities from around ArcelorMittal South Africa’s operations.”

However, she added there were instances where specialised skills not readily available in the local community, were required for specific projects.

ALSO READ: BREAKING NEWS: Protest action on N11 near Newcastle causes distress

“This is the situation at AMSA’s Newcastle Works, where a short-term contractor has been appointed for a very specific project that requires specialist skills and experience in order to complete the task within a very short time frame. Yet, in line with AMSA’s requirements, the contractor has hired around 35 per cent [more than 50 people] of the general labour required for this project from the local community.”

“We are all skilled artisans, so why are they employing outsiders and not us?”

AMSA is currently facilitating engagement between all the parties involved, to find a mutually agreeable resolution.

Despite AMSA promising to address the concerns of residents, hundreds of local artisans are now waiting patiently until they are given an opportunity to earn an honest living, by being given job opportunities within their own community.

The Newcastle Advertiser is following this story and will keep you updated.

Remember to visit our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages.

Add us on WhatsApp today! 082 874 5550

You can also email our offices on Reveshni Douglas at [email protected] or [email protected] Bruce Douglas at [email protected] Tersia Gopi at [email protected] Zianne Leibrandt at [email protected]

 

  AUTHOR
Zianne Leibrandt

Latest News

COMMENTS

Top

Thanks for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our FREE newsletter
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.




SELECT your titles:

Estcourt News
Ladysmith Gazette
Newcastle Advertiser
Northern Natal Courier
Vryheid Herald


Get regular news updates sent directly to your inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites
CLICK HERETo view an example of our newsletter

SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter

SELECT your titles:

Estcourt News
Ladysmith Gazette
Newcastle Advertiser
Northern Natal Courier
Vryheid Herald

Get regular news updates sent directly to you inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

Subscribe Here
1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites
Your details:


Your friends: