With reference to last week’s protest action about job opportunities at GO GEORGE and subsequent media reporting about the protest, GO GEORGE would like to provide the following information for better understanding of the situation:
It is and never will be the intention of GO GEORGE to exclude certain communities from the benefits created by the implementation of this bus service. There is, however, some history behind this issue of job opportunities which needs to be conveyed to those members of the public who are not aware of this.
As part of the negotiations preceding the roll-out of the GO GEORGE bus service, the taxi operators were offered compensation and their employees (drivers, cashiers, admin etc.) were offered first preference at the job opportunities in the newly established bus operating company, George Link. In order to be considered, all such employees had to be registered on the Affected Persons Register (APR). As this was a transformation project, it was important for Government to ensure that as many people as possible affected by the new bus service, had first right to employment opportunities.
In 2012 and 2013 the operators submitted the names of their employees and an open registration call was held to create the APR. For the people that were still not registered, an appeals process was opened in 2015, where appellants had to submit proof that they were part of the industry, this information being verified by the operators and the taxi associations.
George Link is required to hire from the APR as a first call, and only if there are no suitable candidates for a particular position, they are allowed to advertise the position to the general public. This could happen when a position requires extraordinary or specialised skills that might not be offered by people formerly employed in the taxi industry.
The GO GEORGE office itself is a government entity and all employees employed through this office are sourced from the APR wherever possible, otherwise from the existing Municipal HR database, where interested persons are welcome to hand in their CVs.
Furthermore, services providers contracted on GO GEORGE-specific contracts are contractually bound to follow the same process, first appointing staff from the APR before recruiting elsewhere.
The George community may rest assured that the Municipality is managing the project with discretion and that employment from the APR is being executed according to agreement. This, however, also means that all jobs are not open to the general public.