Union cau­tions on re­turn to work at Makana

Grocott's Mail - - Front Page - By SUE MA­CLEN­NAN

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

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