An empty Tshwane call centre where its employees claim that there are bugs biting them. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Despite a recent fumigation, Tshwane call centre staff say the bug infestation is still prevalent.

The offices located in Sammy Marks yesterday had empty cubicles with a few employees at their work stations; the bulk of the workforce was camping out at the lobby in fear of being bitten.

An employee said the bugs were still problematic even after fumigation. “We are working because we are told ‘no work no pay’; so I have to work because they are monitoring the system. They did not fumigate this entire place; why do we still have bugs biting us?”

Another employee said now that the temperatures were rising the situation was bad. “During hot days we cannot even bear it; you cannot sit and work.”

Speaking to Pretoria News from the crowded lobby, another employee said she would not set foot in the office until they were certain the infestation had been completely cleared.

“We cannot just get bitten daily and take no action, something must be done. This must be solved.”

She said they would report for duty, but would not work unless the matter was resolved or they were temporarily moved.

“I wish management could come and occupy these offices on a hot day and tell us if they would cope and report for duty every day in such conditions.”

Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said they had received reports of insect bites from officials working at the outbound call centre and the matter was addressed with fumigation last Friday.

The workers were released at 11am to return to their work stations on Monday.

“Upon return to the centre on Monday, officials complained about the smell of the fumigation.”

Mashigo said the centre was again inspected by management and officials were informed to return to their work stations. However, they resisted and asked for engagement with management.

“Matters raised are being addressed. Thorough cleaning was arranged with the building manager to also ensure all maintenance issues are done at the centre.”

He said while intensive cleaning was under way, officials were temporarily placed at various municipal offices to continue with their tasks.”

Regular fumigation, air-conditioning to be working 24 hours (a day) and replacement of carpets was recommended.

Pretoria News