The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has noted the statement by the Minister of Employment and Labour in relation to matters of interventions or inspections concerning the non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] Act by employers.
The department has not responded to any requests for inspections and referrals on cases of non-compliance made by NEHAWU in the province. NEHAWU requested formally to the department to inspect the following workplaces because we strongly believed that they are not complying with OHS Act and are putting the lives of workers at risk:
· WF knobel hospital
· Polokwane Hospital
· Vanvelden Hospital (Tzaneen)
· Home Affairs (Tzaneen)
· And Netcare Pholoso
At the Department of Education in Apel and Schoonord Circuit office we also complained to the department about water shortages, lack of Personal Protective Equipment [PPEs], the lack of screening of workers and none functioning of toilets including the non-provisioning of cleaning materials.
However, no response was received on all our requests and we are still waiting for such. It is then wrong for the Minister to accuse NEHAWU of fabricating lies about inspections that have taken place. If the department performed inspections it is clear that it is not the ones which we requested the department to process.
We also complained about many workers who have not received their TERS payments even though their employers had claimed and received the payments. This further proves that the department has not been on the side of workers and have actually went out of its way to protect employers leaving workers vulnerable and at risk.
It is for these reasons that we call on the Minister to desist from misleading the public and seeking underserved sympathy. His incompetence has led to the infection of many workers and some have lost their lives. We hope the President of the country will have a serious talk with the Minister on how his ineffectiveness has disadvantaged workers.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office For further information, please contact: Jacob Adams @ 082 558 5966 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org