Protest over Grabouw school construction jobs

Cape Town - Grabouw business supporters on Thursday blocked access to a school construction site in a picket over allegations that local contractors and sub-contractors were not involved in the R55m project.

"Although a handful of local general labourers have been employed on the site, there will be no benefit for local business and sustainable job creation," Pineview Community Development Organisation chairperson Quinton February said.

A Sapa correspondent reported that the picketers blocked access to the construction site for the new Umyezo wama Apile High School, a project by the Western Cape education department and the provincial department of public works.

A picket line was formed and vehicles parked across Ou Kaapse Weg, one of the main roads leading to Grabouw, preventing construction workers from entering.

"We will not leave or open access to the building site until we have the assurance that Grabouw building contractors will be involved," Elgin Grabouw Civic Organisation chairperson John Michels said.

"Unemployment in Grabouw is a massive problem and we need the work to be done by local contractors so that more jobs can be created."

Police were at the scene.

Construction work began earlier this year after the contract was awarded to Power Construction. The new school was expected to accommodate around 1 300 pupils.