State companies found not complying with Occupational Health and Safety Act regulations
Department of Employment and Labour's inspection and enforcement service unit has found that 1237 organisations had not been complying with set regulations for working during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The department has since issued 1463 notices. According to inspector-general Aggy Moila, the rate of compliance at 411 government workplaces they inspected was 50%.
“It is of great concern especially at those employers where there are long queues or people congregating. This is especially prevalent at government-related workplaces,” she said.
“It should be every organisation’s responsibility. No wonder we still have so many workplace accidents.”
South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) deputy general secretary, Dumisane Magagula, revealed that some municipalities had been closed down by the department in the Free State for non-compliance.
“Our employees are aware of the Occupational Health and Safety Act statutes, and they know what to do when they are being subjected to non-compliance in the workplace,” he said.
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union deputy general secretary Membinkosi Vilina said some employers were taking the regulations put in place too lightly.
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi recently stated that failure by employers to take the necessary measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 may result in criminal prosecution.
A back-to-work direction (regulation) has now been gazetted which seeks to ensure that the measures taken by employers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act were consistent with the overall national policies and strategies aimed at minimising the spread of coronavirus.