Depart­ment’s staff downs tools over di­lap­i­dated build­ing

The Witness - - NEWS - NOMPILO KUNENE nompilo.kunene@wit­

STAFF mem­bers of the Depart­ment of Ru­ral Devel­op­ment and Land Re­forms’ Regional Land Claim Com­mis­sions of­fice downed tools yes­ter­day morn­ing be­cause of the “de­cay­ing” build­ing they work in.

The staff mem­bers sent a me­moran­dum to their chief direc­tor last month high­light­ing their con­cerns re­gard­ing the state of the build­ing at 200 Church Street. They said the lift in the sev­en­storey build­ing has only been work­ing on and off for the past month.

“If the lift is work­ing we are still afraid to use it be­cause on so many oc­ca­sions peo­ple get stuck inside it. I work on the sev­enth floor and I am forced to walk up and down those stairs ev­ery day,” said an em­ployee who re­fused to be named for fear of vic­tim­i­sa­tion.

The em­ploy­ees said the toi­lets in the build­ing are leak­ing and flooded, some win­dows have been bro­ken for the past two years, the air­con­di­tion­ers are not work­ing and the of­fice car­pets are de­cay­ing. Other em­ploy­ees told The Wit

ness that they will not be work­ing un­til their work space is fixed.

About 20 staff mem­bers were seen yes­ter­day morn­ing sit­ting in the park­ing area.

“We will be stag­ing a daily protest at the park­ing area un­til the state of our premises is suit­ably ad­dressed. We want to work but we refuse to work in those con­di­tions,” said an­other em­ployee.

The act­ing chief direc­tor of the depart­ment’s Regional Land Claim Com­mis­sions of­fice, Ross Hoole, said they are aware of the is­sues raised by the staff mem­bers and are in the process of ad­dress­ing them.

“I met with the land­lord of the build­ing yes­ter­day [Tues­day] morn­ing and he made com­mit­ments that they will fix ev­ery­thing that needs to be fixed by Fri­day.

“With the is­sue of the lift, they said they need parts from Ger­many and can only get it done by the 27th of Oc­to­ber,” he said. •

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