Department’s staff downs tools over dilapidated building
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. •