The City of Windhoek has rehired nearly 600 workers whose contracts had ended at the end of July this year.
Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu confirmed yesterday that the city has now decided to rehire 583 cleaners, whose employment contracts were terminated in June, for another 11 months.
The 583 workers already resumed work last month, while 22 vacancies will be advertised.
The contract workers were initially employed through contractors.
The city later took them in after their employment contracts ended some years ago.
Kahungu said the city made a U-turn – and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it decided to rehire the workers for 11 months.
“We appreciate our people for being with us the whole time and dedicated their time and energy to work for the city. However, I urge our people to learn to appreciate. We have a lot of Namibians [who] are now sitting at home due to loss of work. At least, they are being given something,” said Kahungu.
Affirmative Repositioning movement leader Job Amupanda has persistently campaigned for the plight of the contract workers.
“If these people each support 10 people, as we know is the practice in many African families, that means a simple uncaring decision of an uncaring municipality is bringing poverty to 7 000 people. This is so bad, particularly when the economy is already down. I don’t understand why we take care of those [who] are already well off,” Amupanda commented this week.
“Windhoek used to be a clean city before the corrupt leadership took over. We have now lost that position to Kigali, yet the people who kept our city clean are being sent to the streets. These are the things that make us more determined to take over the city and ensure that we employ all these workers. These cleaners will be permanently employed by the city under my leadership.”