Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has set a goal of ensuring all her staff members work in a Covid19 free environment and are protected from criminals pouncing on them and their offices.
Mkhwebane and her senior officials made the declarations when they addressed the justice committee on their plans to spend almost R500000 in the fight against Covid-19.
The institution also plans to spend R6million to acquire security services to protect all 17 of their provincial offices in the country.
Mkhwebane’s office also intends to spend R3.7m to provide staff members with laptops to allow them to work from home.
Almost 33% of the staff members are due to return to work today since operations were partially affected by lockdown regulations.
Addressing the justice committee at the weekend, Mkhwebane and acting chief executive Yalekile Lusibane said only 33% of their staff will resume work today to deal with pertinent issues.
“A risk assessment was conducted with risk mitigation strategies being implemented and all offices were disinfected. Only 33% of employees will be in the office at any given time, thus a rotational schedule will be followed. Employees who can work effectively at home are allowed to do so,” Lusibane said.
She said all employees would be provided with Personal Protective Equipment and sanitisers when they return to office.
Lusibane also revealed that their office will comply with health regulations if any of their employees test positive for Covid-19.
“The respective office will close immediately and all staff who were in contact with the infected person will be quarantined and tested within 24 hours, with Covid-19 tests paid for by the public protector’s office.
“The respective office will be disinfected, with the Health and Employment and Labour departments informed,” she said.
Lusibane said employees who test positive for Covid-19 will remain at home until fully treated and cleared, without tapping into their sick leave.
Earlier, Mkhwebane told the committee that they had processed up to 158 new cases at head office alone since the lockdown.
The committee also heard that the office planned to ask for an additional funding of R6m to secure its provincial offices in the country.
“We do not have security services in 17 of our 18 offices across the country, only head office has security services. There have been several incidents of break-ins and robberies of staff when they knock off late from our offices.”