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Four people were arrested on Wednesday morning for trashing streets in the Johannesburg inner city.

Johannesburg Metro Police officers were placed at various spots within the city after Tuesday’s protests where Jozi@Work beneficiaries trashed the city streets in parts of Braamfontein and Hillbrow.

“JMPD have arrested four protesters in the Johannesburg CBD for trashing the City today. The Jozi@Work protesters became disorderly by breaking concrete bins‚” JMPD said in an official statement.

JMPD chief David Tembe said:[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“Disorderly behaviour and trashing of the City during protests will not be tolerated‚ as protests should be in an orderly fashion at all times.” The protesters will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of malicious damage to property and public violence.

Earlier‚ waste management company Pikitup began cleaning up the mess left by the protesters.

Protesters believed to be part of the abolished Jozi@Work initiative on Tuesday marched to Metro Centre‚ attacked shop stewards of the SA Municipal Workers Union and then went on a rampage‚ scattering waste on the surrounding roads.

Jozi@Work was introduced by the ANC administration to link young people with job opportunities through partnerships with the private sector. But when Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba took over in 2016‚ he ended the initiative‚ arguing that it was benefiting the middle man.

In September last year‚ Pikitup was faced with similar protests from Jozi@Work beneficiaries‚ who demanded permanent employment in the city. The damage cost the city R50‚000 a day for the additional resources it had to use. The mayor’s office told TimesLIVE that the city position on the Jozi@Work programme still stands.

“The Jozi@Work programme was a tool used to ensure political patronage‚ where ward councillors sat on panels and allocated job opportunities. This in itself was a flawed process‚ as councillors should not be allowed to interfere in the employment of workers in the City‚” Mashaba’s office said.

“Rather‚ the City has committed to introducing a new programme which will create fair and equal opportunities for all residents seeking employment. This new programme would replace the Jozi@Work platform.

“Indeed‚ Pikitup is planning to roll out a new community upliftment programme‚ and for the interim has introduced EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme) to replace the former J@W programme. The EPWP programme is aimed at poverty alleviation where projects are tied to varying timelines.”

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