THE Bulawayo City Council has turned down a request for a review of allowances paid to its contract workers in the sweeping department citing cashflow problems.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga Own correspondent
According to the latest council minutes, sweepers had written to the local authority asking for a review of their monthly allowances from $200 to $300.
“As community sweeping groups, we have been engaged in cleaning wards for almost a year,” said the sweepers.
“Our allowance is a gross of $200 per individual, meaning to say that our group allowance differs depending on the number of people per group.
“There is a mixed bag of disadvantaged persons among the sweeping groups in that all are unemployed and some are widowed persons looking after big families, among them orphans who have lost both parents due to the HIV and Aids pandemic.
“When we were engaged, the poverty datum line was about $450 per month for a household of six people. Presently it has risen to about $600 plus per month.
“This is a percentage increase of 33% per month.
“What it literary means is that our allowances’ buying power has been reduced by 33%.”
However, the councillors turned down the request arguing that the community sweeping groups were not permanent employees.
They said the groups must approach the respective ward councillor “and (be) advised as appropriate”.
The local authority also said it had not awarded any increment to its own employees because of financial constraints, “thus justifying granting of an increment to community groups would be difficult”.