'WE ARE STARVING'
For the past six months, workers from a construction company awarded a sanitation tender at the Greater Letaba municipality in Limpopo, say they have not been paid.
The workers from ward 13 have accused the local councillor, Nkoadi Sebelemetja, of not paying them their salaries.
Sebelemetja facilitated the employment of 48 people by Makgetsi Construction to build toilets in the ward.
The workers have never met the developer and Sebelemetja was the "only link" between them and the contractor.
Edward Manyama, a spokesperson for the angry workers, said they had approached Sebelemetja several times to inquire about their payments but had received nothing.
"Sebelemetja would not own up when we approached him. He is unhelpful," claimed Manyama, who was accompanied by a group of angry workers.
He said Sebelemetja had told them they would have to wait a little longer as there was another group of workers who had not been paid "for three years".
"When we told him life was hard without money, Sebelemetja arrogantly asked how we survived when we were not employed," he said.
"We and our families are starving," said Manyama.
He claimed that creditors have been giving the desperate workers sleepless nights demanding overdue payments.
"For instance, I'm on medication to treat my high blood pressure, ulcers and heart condition and cannot afford this if I don't get paid," he said.
Sebelemetja said yesterday that the contract stipulated that the workers would only get paid "after" the completion of the project but that the developer had not supplied enough material.
But Manyama denied this, saying their contract stipulated that they would be paid after the completion of each phase and that they had already built 261 toilets.
Mayor Joshua Matlou told Sowetan said he needed "all the necessary documents" to be able to follow up the matter.
Efforts to contact Kgethi Makgetsi, the developer, drew a blank.
Clayson Monyela, the spokesperson for the local housing department, said they were "only responsible" for the building "of houses".
"The department appoints contractors and if they do not pay their workers, it becomes a dispute between him and his workers. They must take their issue up with the labour department."