Friday, May 26, 2023

City of Cape Town contractors withdraws services as opportunists demands 'protection fee'

The City of Cape Town says its service delivery teams are under siege. This comes after the Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Rob Quintas, survived a shooting incident on Wednesday.

Quintas was conducting an oversight visit for the City's Winter Preparedness programme in Joe Slovo, Milnerton. On the way out of Joe Slovo, heading towards Phoenix, two armed men started firing shots at his vehicle.

Mayoral committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said this shooting incident follows a series of violent attacks and threatening of Urban Mobility officials and contractors.

‘’In fact, the contractor working on the resurfacing of Koeberg Road, not far from where yesterday’s [Wednesday’s] shooting incident happened, withdrew his team on 17 May 2023, due to gangsters demanding protection money and threatening workers on site.’’

Smith said a number of contractors withdrew their services as they were threatened as they could not pay ‘protection fee’

    PICTURE SUPPLIED


Last Wednesday, the contractor responsible for roadworks on Koeberg Road in Brooklyn, withdrew his workers and machinery from the site. This is not the first time the Urban Mobility  team came under attack -  On 10 May 2023, a contractor's worker was shot and killed in Delft while working on a road rehabilitation project. On the same day, a group of five men confronted and threatened a contractor working on the resurfacing of streets in Mfuleni. The contractor had to stop work immediately.

On Wednesday, said Smith, a group of gangsters stopped a project on Epping Avenue in Elsies River Industrial.

‘’This terrible experience made me realise how dangerous it has become to deliver services to our communities. In fact, I dare say we are now at a point where it has become nearly impossible to do our work without armed patrols. Criminals demand protection money from the City and contractors, and because we refuse to pay, we are under constant threat of being attacked, or our machinery and assets get stolen with many staff being exposed to violence in the course of carrying out their duties,’’ said rob Quintas, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility.

 

‘’These syndicates and other criminals pose a serious threat to service delivery, not only in Cape Town, but across the country. I am calling on the National Police Commissioner and the Minister of Police to do their duty, and keep residents safe from thugs. This cannot continue, and we will not be able to provide services if it puts the lives of staff and contractors in danger,’’ he added.

‘’This project was forced to a standstill earlier this year as well. Given that the contractor refused to pay protection money, the criminals have made it impossible for work to continue on site. Two cases have been reported to the police in Milnerton. At this point, the City may be forced to abandon this project because we cannot risk human lives,' said Quintas.

 

Done By: Alungile Njemla

 

 

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