Queenstown – The South African Municipal Workers Union has called on the government and the COVID-19 special delegation team to retain the Chris Hani Municipality on the current Level 4 or moved higher to level 5. The union believes the municipality has not been complying with the current level 4 regulations for managing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The region of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Eastern Cape Province believes that after two employees from the same department tested positive within a space of two weeks. The municipality continues to operate with no efforts in protecting the health and safety of workers in line with the Department of Employment and Labour read with the Occupational Health and Act.
The municipality made promises to fumigate the building, but with the second confirmed COVID-19 case, it is clear that no fumigation was done. Despite the health hazard, we have also noted with great concern that the Municipality has been preoccupied with filling vacant positions.
SAMWU representative believes “This move is not in the interest of workers or the community being served as Queenstown is listed as the hot spot in the province. It clearly shows that municipal management does not care about the lives of the prospective employees who are to be interviewed, including the lives, health, and safety of workers and their families”.
The demand from the representative of SAMWU is that the government should retain the municipality under level 3 “Since the municipality has failed to prepare the workplace for level 4, there is no logical explanation as to why the municipality should along with the county move to level 3. We further, call on the provincial government to intervene in the municipality in the interest of public health. The provincial department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs should also assist the municipality in readying the workplace for workers to return to a safe and secure environment including developing a workplace risk analysis as required by the regulations”.