South Africa

A general view of the burning Gauteng Department of Health and Human Settlements building in the Johannesburg CBD, 06 September 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

It is a sad situation when a group representing civil servants has to resort to measures such as taking the government to court to in order to ensure safety for their members.

The Public Service Association (PSA) has had to reach a decision to head to the Labour Court in order to request for the complete shut down of the Civitas building in Pretoria City Centre because the building poses as a risk to the lives of its members. If left unattended to, this will become a  disaster waiting to happen. Furthermore, the disaster would cause even more damage than the recent fire that happened at the health’s department’s building earlier this week.

Civitas, as we report today, is a pigsty, where the neglect of basic maintenance and security is putting the lives of workers at risk.

The irony is that the building is the headquarters of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

The responsibility of maintaining government buildings has been assigned to the public works department. However, due to no action on their part concerning resolving the problem at hand, it continues to remain a risk and  a danger to the lives of the people working there.

Some of the workers have considered staging an illegal strike to voice their concerns.

3 firefighters lost their lives as a result of the fire that happened earlier this week despite the fact that assessments had shown that it did not meet health and safety standards.

Several other buildings have been found to not meet the required health and safety standards. Something needs to be done about the situation at hand.

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