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Community of Marapyane whistle blowing corruption, on the hiring for the pavement project launched by Minister Fikile Mbalula

Marapyane The name John Nkgodi has been a buzz in our publication from various articles that varied from corruption on projects

When corruption lurk within your community, especially in relation with anything that has to do with the development of youth members around, residents are well within their rights to lay a complaint and report such criminal activities, no matter how small the crime is.

In this case we find ourselve in the community of Marapyane in Mpumalanga where a resident who happens to be an unemployed youth, is crying of corruption in connection with hiring of construction projects and learnerships available for the youth of Marapyane.

It is said that Mmeta Emelda Makete is currently in two different development programmes (EPWP and paving project), even after it was agreed amongst the councillor, John Nkgodi and the youth, during a community meeting that anyone who worked in the road project before, should not be reappointed but Makete gets to double up her pay cheque regardless.

Makete was made Community Liaison Officer (CLO) of the construction project and is also a ward committee member. Rage got ignited in some of the youth members when she got the CLO appointment, when she had previously worked under the construction project, where they were working on a 3 km road construction project and now are meant to work on the same road construction but for 1 km instead. Makete works for EPWP and is CLO for the 1 km pavement construction project .

Regarding any learnership, the number one primary key requirement, apart from citizenship is to be between the ages of 18 and 35. In Marapyane, it is said that requirements were not followed, as some in without meeting them. Kgantlha Bokaba participated in a learnership programme even though he is over the age 35, Sarah Ndlovu and Seobane Moche do not have matric. Moche was made Site Clerk even though he does not meet the requirements.

Sources claim to have no knowledge of the other learnerships given to people under the carpet and would hear by grapevine, about the admission for nurse training, diploma in nursing for 2022 and the agricultural learnerships, even after they were told from the office that the learnerships have not reached Marapyane.

Africa Newz reached out to councillor Nkgodi for comment and he dismissed all claims put on the table by our sources. He says in the five years that he’s been running as councillor, their work done for the community has been highly praised, and his ward acknowledged as the most developed and progressive ward. The councillor stated how these programmes are not for employment but rather skills development programmes for the youth. And the current project they are working on is provincial and not just for the Dr JS Moroka municipality, that way they can create employment for everyone in Mpumalanga and not just restricted to Marapyane community.

He says Makete is apparently not yet appointed, things were not yet finalized and is shocked as to where they got such information. The councillor sees no mistake in a person working for EPWP and working for the construction project at the same time. Based on the explanation received from the councillor, EPWP is a poverty alleviation project, participants work 3 days a week and are paid R1000.  CLO on the other hand is not an employment but rather skills development, the only requirement needed for it is matric and the councillor is allowed to select 3 – 5 people who will be interviewed for the position and they don’t check previous work experience they only check if you were never appointed CLO before and the appointee is awarded skills development certificate after completion of the project.

The clarity provided by Nkgodi is that selection of participants that will take part, is done at the community hall. They select based on how many youth members are required to take part in the program and balance it out with gender. When choosing a CLO, engineers and the councillor conduct interviews from the five selections, they do not look at your previous work, they just want a matric as this is only a skill development not employment, it is a temporary appointment that circulates. He says they do take at least one person who worked on another programme, for example, the EPWP. Nkgodi explained to us on those decisions made at the hall are not final, they go further in doing background checks to stable the decision.

In our conversation with the councillor, he mentioned on how he focuses mainly on people who are from homes where there is no employment amongst any of the family members, families with no source of income. On matters of other alleged appointments, he said he has not heard of a Sarah Ndlovu, does not know her.

Regarding Seobane Moche’s appointment, he says matric is not a requirement as that is a skill development and not employment. The position in the program is to help people without skills gain them to better their chances of employment out there. But he couldn’t confirm Moche’s appointment, he continued by saying being a ward committee member is not employment, members are given a stipend of R1000 to purchase airtime so that they can call ambulance when someone is sick or fire fighters if there is fire in the community.

Councillor Nkgodi said he does not work alone there is a second councillor. He said he is not aware of the nursing training and has no access or knowledge of other learnerships mentioned above. According to him, only several people attend meetings but many complain about the people appointed. He believes to have done everything by the book and did right by the people of Marapyane, in making sure they gain development skills from the programmes they have to offer to the people. He urged community members to attend meetings to get the information first-hand and correct. He added on to say, they are available anytime if anyone has a complaint or would need clarity on such issues.

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