LERIBE – Residents of St Monica’s who are working on the St Monica’s road network have threatened to down tools if their employer, China Geo Engineering Corporation fails to engage workers fairly.
The road which is meant to off load the Maputsoe town traffic runs through several neighbouring villages including St Monica’s.
The community of St Monica’s says when the project that is now close to its completion started over 12 months ago, the employer promised to provide employment to residents of the villages it affects.
But residents of St Monica’s complain that so far, only 10 people from their village have been employed on the project.
They therefore want the workers who are not from their village and the neighbouring villages to be released to make room for the locals.
One of them, Lebea Nkoli said the company promised to employ them but has since failed to keep its word.
“The company lied because it guaranteed us jobs but it has only being hiring people from outside to do labourers’ work.
“It has been a whole year now and we are still waiting but with no sign of change,” Nkoli said.
“The stress of unemployment has reached its highest level among the youths here and that is one of the reasons there is so much crime in this area,” another resident, Jacob Makena said.
The villagers also blamed their area headman Chief Molefi Makhobole and the area councillor for failing to secure jobs for them.
During a public gathering that was held in the village last week to address the complaint, Makhobole said he had no idea why the construction company was not hiring people from his village like it had initially pledged.
He, however, promised to communicate the matter with the company in question before the community took matters into their own hands.
But an official from China Geo Engineering Corporation who attended the gathering said answers to the residents’ concerns would be provided on condition that its client, (the local government ministry), directed them to attend to the matter.