The Public Servants Association (PSA) says it is appalled by the fact that despite the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week of a natural disaster owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, some public sector institutions have not implemented compliance measures to ensure the safety of employees.
The PSA, representing more than 240,000 public servants, says it is aware that some public sector employers have not provided sanitisers and other protective equipment at workplaces to minimise risks.
The association demands that “employers who are not complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the World Health Organisation guidelines as well as guidelines issued by the Department of Public Service and Administration, should allow employees to work from home or provide alternatives that will limit the risk of exposure”.
“Such measures will furthermore be in the interest of the health and safety of members of the public.
“The delay by some employers poses a severe risk to the country and the containment of the virus,” PSA spokesperson Reuben Maleka said in a statement.
The PSA, “whilst not calling for a shutdown of the public service, is adamant that the country cannot afford to expose public servants to unsafe working condition in view of the crucial functions they have to perform in the face of the current crisis”.
“The PSA therefore is issuing non-compliant employers with an ultimatum to implement the required measures by close of business on 23 March 2020, failing which, the Union will take steps to enforce the protection of employees’ rights,” Maleka concluded.
(Compiled by Carina Koen.)