The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) demand that special arrangements be made by employers to transport those workers who are expected to continue working during the 21-day national shutdown. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that these workers are not exposed to the Covid-19 virus. This should be done by both the public and the private sector.
Already many workers are facing serious challenges with regard to the nation’s public transport system. South Africa lacks an integrated public transport network. The current multi-faceted public transport system is not well coordinated. This fragmentation of transport services in the country continues to undermine access to affordable, safe and reliable public transport. It also does nothing to eliminate apartheid spatial challenges.
With curfews being imposed on the nation’s transport system because of Covid-19, we do not expect workers to lose their jobs or experience pay cuts as a result of late arrivals.
The restrictions on the transport system means that workers who were already struggling with limited access to the transport system will now pay a lot of money if employers do not make special arrangements for them.
If employers regard this situation as critical and these workers as essential, then we expect employers to act to protect them and treat them with decency. It cannot be business as usual.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794