Several offices of the Department of Employment and Labour in the province have had to close after positive Covid-19 cases.
Mitchell’s Plain Labour Centre and its satellite office in Nyanga closed its doors last Thursday after an employee at the satellite office tested positive for the virus.
The labour centre has been closed to allow workers who may have been in contact with the affected employee to self-isolate and for the satellite office to be decontaminated.
According to the chief director: provincial operations, Mawele Ntamo, the official has interacted with other employees who were working at the labour centre.
It is expected that Mitchell’s Plain Labour Centre and Nyanga satellite office will open to the public again on Wednesday June 17. Clients are in the meantime asked to make use of the department’s online services.
Bellville Labour Centre also closed after a confirmed positive case and will reopen on Thursday June 18 after disinfection and deep-cleaning.
The department also announced that its head office and Compensation Fund office, both in Pretoria, will be closed after one employee from each office tested positive for Covid-19. The fund also deals with claims that have been lodged regarding Covid-19 contracted on duty.
A total of 367 such claims have been lodged with the fund, with the largest number of claims – 118 – from the Western Cape. So far, 67 of the Western Cape claims have been accepted for liability, nine have been repudiated and 42 are pending adjudication.
The fund office is expected to reopen on Thursday June 18 and the head office reopening will be announced after decontamination and deep-cleaning have been completed.
Compensation Fund commissioner, Vuyo Mafata, said work will continue as they will be working from homes to ensure that service delivery is affected as little as possible.
Thobile Lamati, director-general of the department, said safety of staff remain paramount at all times. “Our officials are an important cog of the working of the South African economy and as such, we will also ensure that they are as safe as possible,” he said.
Mr Mafata urged employees who feel unsafe at their places of work to contact the department’s inspectorate and enforcement service so that they can hold employers to the correct standard of protection.