Members of the emergency services at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital following a fire that broke out that morning. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the emergency services at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital following a fire that broke out that morning. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)

Nehawu demands speedy investigation into Charlotte Maxeke Hospital fire

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 18, 2021

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Public service union Nehawu has called for speedy investigation into the fire that engulfed the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital on Friday.

The union said on Sunday that it was concerned that the fire had gone on for too long and this caused concerns that the hospital may have not had proper occupational safety measures in place.

The fire at the hospital started on Friday morning.

"This is a setback considering that workers are already in dire need of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. As we head towards the third wave of Covid-19 infections, hospitals must be fully stocked with PPE so as to avoid the mass infections of front line workers like it happened during the first wave," Nehawu said.

The union said investigations should reveal what type of safety measures the hospital has and lacks.

"Investigations must reveal if the hospital has a functional fire sprinkler system and other measures to deal with such an ordeal. Nehawu has been at the forefront of highlighting the unsafe state of government buildings, especially the Civitas Building and the Bank of Lisbon Building, among others," it said.

Another concern for the union was that a recent fire at Carletonville Hospital had seen R23 million worth of medical equipment destroyed.

"Workers go to work to sell their labour power not to sell their lives. We call on the employer to ensure their safety but adherence to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Department of Employment and Labour must constantly deploy inspectors to enforce compliance," it said.

Political Bureau

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