Union cautions on return to work at Makana
The South African Municipal Workers Union says Municipality staff will return to work only once they are satisfied that there are sufficient Covid-19 safety protocols in place. This comes as Makana announced today that its offices will re-open from 1 July.
“We won’t allow any worker to return until a risk assessment plan is in place,” SAMWU Secretary for the Pinkie Ntsangana (Sarah Baartman) Region Wandile Duruwe told Grocott’s Mail. Duruwe said the plan should be as per the terms set out in the 4 June Government Gazette (see below) and entailed consultation with trade unions and the health and safety committee, among others.
In a statement today, Makana
Municipality said there were four confirmed Covid-19 cases from the Water and Sanitation Department and one suspected case from the Cleansing Department. This had led to the interruption of basic services including water supply and refuse collection across the municipality.
“On discovering these cases, workers from both sections stopped working, fearing for infections,” spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo said.
“All the affected work stations had to be vacated for deep cleaning and decontamination, all vehicles also had to be decontaminated. The municipality is currently in a process of deep cleaning and fumigating all its offices with some, including the City Hall, completed. Only a few are now left and will be completed soon.”
However, Duruwe said the decontamination needed to have been carried out by an accredited company. “The person sent to do fumigation was not even wearing protective clothing,” he said.
Duruwe said additionally, the union demanded that an inspection is subsequently carried out by a qualified health and safety officer (Department of Employment and Labour or Department or Department of Health) and that a danger allowance payment is agreed on as per the SA Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).
The Department of Public Service and Administration’s national guidelines stipulate that public servants in highrisk jobs should get a standard