Workers at nature reserves that fall under the Mpumalanga Tourism Parks Agency have downed tools.

The agency’s CEO, Johannes Nobunga, says the striking workers who are affiliated to National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) are demanding that employees who are acting in certain positions be permanently placed in those positions.

He says gates in some nature reserves are closed.

“The reason for the strike is that, late in 2020, we approved a new organogram as the MTPA and now are engaging in a process of placing the employees. So, there are those employees who are acting in some positions and the union wants us to place them in the positions to which they are acting, which would be unfair to those employees that have not been given an opportunity to act in any position.”

Protest over jobs 

Meanwhile, residents of Khombaso in Nkomazi have blockaded the main road connecting the area with neighbouring villages over job opportunities.

The residents accuse the Nkomazi local municipality of employing people from outside the area in two water infrastructure projects. They allege that some of the vacant posts at the projects have not been filled for years.

Water supply in the area and surrounding villages was disrupted after the residents locked the water reservoir and boosting pump.

Community leader, Sizwe Nsingwane, says the municipality promised to attend to their concerns, but nothing happened.

“The reason we decided to close the road is that the municipality does not want to attend to us and face the problem that they caused at the reservoir, we supposed to benefit as the community since we built the reservoir we don’t benefit so we are tired as the community.”