Danger allowance demand
From Page 1 danger allowance of R474 a month, or a special monthly danger allowance of R709. This is normally for occupations such as traffic inspectors, prison guards, as well as social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and other health workers working with prisoners.
However, in May, the Bargaining Council advised South Africa’s 257 municipalities to negotiate with SAMWU and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) over danger allowances for frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued last week, SAMWU’S national Secretariat said the union’s demand was for a once-off ex gratia payment of R3000.
“We are well aware of the fact that workers have already returned to work and that most of the lockdown regulations are continually being lowered,” SAMWU’S Secretariat said. “Our approach is that even if the President decides that the lockdown is over tomorrow, workers who were in the frontlines are owed by the employer and that money should be paid over to them once an agreement is reached.”
SAMWU has more than 515 members at Makana Municipality and Imatu around 100.
In today’s statement, Makana Municipality said all essential services would resume this week “especially refuse collection”. Plans had been put in place for the water treatment works and Process Controllers from Alicedale were assisting at both plants.
“An internal memo has been sent to managers and supervisors of the affected departments to call back all their staff so that work can resume normally,” said Ramokolo.
The decision to re-open all municipal offices with limited staff on 1 July was taken in an extended management meeting yesterday.
“A Workplace Safety Plan is in place that will give guidance to all the returning workers,” Ramokolo said. “A Covid -19 Committee has been established with the Coordinator that will ensure that all processes are followed [and]all the required PPE is sufficient… before allowing workers back.”
The Committee would be continually convened throughout the pandemic period.
The return to work would also see the implementation of identified projects and the continuation of those suspended under the lockdown.
In response to questions from Grocott’s Mail, Ramokolo said a total of 87 water and sanitation workers and cleansing staff are currently on self isolation.
The Municipality had drafted the danger allowance policy and this was still under discussion.
The fumigation of the municipal offices had been done by an accredited server provider, Ramokolo said.