Msunduzi News (English)

Workers eager to return to work during lockdown

- By Linda Ximba

SOME of the employees last reported for duty on March 26 when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be going on national lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Since then the restrictio­ns have been relaxed to allow some of the sectors to resume operations. Some of the workers have enjoyed getting their salaries without having worked the whole month, but others have lifted their sleeves and returned to work to ensure that their working spaces are properly maintained and cleaned during this period.

Supervisor at the Olympic Swimming Pool, Mr Navesen Pillay, and his team which is made up of Mr Delani Mbanjwa, uMr Sibusiso Sigudo, Ms Bernadine Ranjeeth and Ms Algene Jenneker have decided to come back to clean and do maintenanc­e where they work even though pools are not yet open to the public.

Mbanjwa said: “We put pressure on our managers because we love the place we work at and sitting at home is actually not going to help us because there will be a lot of work that we will have to do when we come back”

He said there were no benefits for staying at home and they had finished all that they initially wanted to get done so now they had nothing to do.

When Msunduzi News visited them at the Olympic Swimming Pool, Mbanjwa was busy cutting grass.

“In actual fact it’s not my job to cut the grass but I’m not going to wait for people who I don’t even know when they will come to do it when I can do the job myself.”

He said as a team they first discussed the plan to return to work by themselves because they wanted to make sure that everyone was on board before approachin­g the employer.

Pillay has been the supervisor at the pool for two years and he has a good track record in the management of swimming pools since he started at the Woodlands one then went to the Alexandra and Buchanan Street Baths.

“I fell in love with this place two years ago and even started using my own money to do some of the maintenanc­e. I asked some people to come and fix the fence because there were holes around the entrance. We also fixed the paddling pool and the lights so that it looks nice,” he said.

He said since they are not officially allowed to come back to work, they had to get their own personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, sanitisers and gloves.

“These were donated by my wife’s company called Platinum Surgical,” said Pillay.

He said about a month ago while he was driving past he saw how their reputation would be dented because there were weeds growing all over around the property.

“I spoke to my manager Mr Mandla Zuma and asked him if it would be okay for us to atleast come back for two weeks to clean up. I informed him that we had PPEs so we would be safe. He checked if they met the required standards then gave his approval,” said Pillay.

He said he had already used R16000 of his own money on the maintenanc­e of things around the pool.

“I know that I could probably use that money to buy food parcels but what I’m doing is also giving back to the community.”

Pillay also bought a brush cutter to use around the facility.

“I decided to buy the brush cutter because I could see that the staff was having to wait for the municipali­ty to provide us with one. This way they can use it whenever they feel it is necessary.”

Pillay said he will continue doing whatever is necessary to keep the swimming facility clean but they will not drain it until they receive the go-ahead to allow bathers in. “We can’t drain the pool now because that would be like wasting resources because we will have to put clean water only to drain it later when we’re given a permit to resume operations. But we will continue keeping the rest of the premises clean.”

He concluded by thanking his staff for their dedication saying over the past two years he has never received a single complaint from them.

 ?? (Picture: Andile Mahlaba) ?? Msunduzi employees
(Picture: Andile Mahlaba) Msunduzi employees

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