Today's Labour News

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southafricalogoCity Press writes that the health department, which claims to be ready to roll out one of the most far-reaching and expensive health initiatives in the history of SA, appears unable to provide a “healthy” working environment for its own personnel.  

Since September 2018, hundreds of employees at the department’s Civitas building in Pretoria have refused to enter it after it was declared unsafe and unhealthy.  Every morning they arrive for work and gather in the lobby where they wait until 11am before leaving.  The minister of health, Zweli Mkhize, has now ordered the department to find an alternative office urgently, although it is unclear how long this will take.  The labour department declared the building unsafe in October 2018.  At the time, it was reported that the building complied with only 20% of the safety standards mandated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  The building accommodates about 1,400 workers, including the regulatory authority for healthcare products.  Union members from Nehawu and the Public Servants’ Association have complained for years about problematic electrical connections, regular flooding in parts of the building and “black dust” that clings to windows, walls and air conditioning units.  Early in 2018, a Nehawu poll among 88 personnel found that 48 people regularly struggled with headaches, dizziness, sinus and breathing problems.  Seemingly, the department’s management will now go ahead with the implementation of the relocation process and for arrangements to be made for employees to return to working full days.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Riana de Langer on page 8 of City Press of 9 February 2020

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