Scores of general workers from Region A descended on the Rabie Ridge Community Centre with sharpened spades, rakes, and brooms on Wednesday, 12 January to spruce up the unkempt area.

The recently employed workers belong to the City’s Augmented Field Services (AFS), which is a service delivery model that supplements municipal work done by City Parks and Zoo, Pikitup, City Power, Joburg Water, and the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA).

The more than 30 general workers were paired in groups of five to remove weeds from the tar and to pick up strewn litter, ensuring the Rabie Ridge Community Centre is always neat.

“Our aim is to make sure the City is clean and ensure there is value for all ratepayers,” says Mafemani Maringa, an AFS Supervisor in Region A.

Maringa says the AFS model focuses on tidying up all City facilities in the Region, including community halls, libraries, clinics, and recreation centres, to name a few.

He says the City followed its usual recruitment processes in appointing the general workers, who were considered illiterate because they don’t have post Matric qualifications and had been unemployed. More than 100 general workers have since been recruited to implement the AFS model, which is also designed to alleviate unemployment in local communities.

“I am incredibly happy and grateful for the opportunity that has been given to us as residents of Rabie Ridge. I was unemployed for an exceptionally long time and had lost hope in searching for a job until I got this one. It has changed the situation back at home, as I am now able to make ends meet,” says Bukelwa Bakani, a general worker and one of the beneficiaries of the AFS service delivery model.

Another general worker, Gloria Mogale, says this initiative does not only offer financial relief but gives her the opportunity to develop her community.

“I love my job. It grants me the opportunity to keep my community clean and to financially support my two kids,” she says.

Mafemani says the AFS service delivery model will be rolled out in most areas in Region A within the coming weeks, including Ebony Park and Ivory Park.

Written by Bongiwe Radebe and Gontse Hlophe for the City of Johannesburg

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