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Musina Magistrate’s Court building in danger of collapse and ’may kill people’

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Aug 4, 2021

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Johannesburg - A DEPARTMENT of Employment and Labour occupational health and safety inspector has found that the Musina Magistrate’s Court building poses an immediate danger of collapse and may kill people using the facility.

The notice issued by the inspector Meshack Matsi prohibits the use of the building, including the cash hall, district and regional courts.

According to the notice, the building poses an immediate danger of collapse and may cause fatal injuries or death to a person on account of structural support failure.

”The use of electrical distribution boards that do not have covers in which circuit breakers and bare wires are exposed and easily accessible pose the danger of electrocution, death and fire to persons. The electrical supply must be switched off to avoid the imminent danger of death and fire,” reads the notice.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was warned that the use of damaged electrical extension cords and cables connected to the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) in the cash hall which are used in a permanent position poses an immediate danger of overheating and fire likely to cause fatal injuries and death to persons.

UPS is a device that allows a computer to keep running for at least a short time when the primary power source is lost.

Following the issuing of the notice last week, the Department of Justice was forced to close the court and continue working under trees outside the building.

However, this angered court staff affiliated to the Public Servants Association (PSA), which said the situation was demeaning for its members and requested an action plan as they cannot continue to work under trees and/or in an open space due to harsh weather conditions in the Musina area.

“The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires the employer to bring about and maintain, as far as reasonably practical, a work environment that is safe and without risk to the health of the workers. Therefore, working under the trees or open space is not safe for our members,” the PSA wrote to the Department of Justice’s Limpopo regional head advocate Winkie Sonti last Thursday.

Sonti was given until Tuesday to respond, but the PSA is yet to indicate its next step.

Political Bureau

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