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Dept to conduct ‘full inspection’ of building

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The inspection would determine if any of the labour regulations had been contravened or needed to be addressed.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE DEPARTMENT of Labour will conduct a full inspection at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature next week, following complaints about occupational and safety hazards at the building, which is still being renovated.

The spokesperson for the Department of Labour, Kebalepile Khula, yesterday indicated that an occupational health and safety (OHS) specialist had visited the site on Monday to engage with the relevant stakeholders.

“The complaint was only received on Monday and an immediate inspection could not take place. We will dispatch an OHS inspector next week to conduct a full inspection in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”

Khula explained that the inspection would determine if any of the labour regulations had been contravened or needed to be addressed.

“The complaints that emerged will be investigated although none that were raised warranted the closure of the building. Should any situation arise, requiring a prohibition, the inspectors will take action at the appropriate time.”

The chief director of provincial operations at the Department of Labour, Zolile Albanie, pointed out that labour inspectors did not certify buildings but only inspected the occupational and safety conditions of its employees.

“A prohibition notice was issued to part of the building in 2016 and it was revoked by the inspector after the affected area complied with the OHS prescripts.”

The spokesperson for the Office of the Speaker, Mpho Masina, said that the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Kenny Mmoiemang, met with the legislature branch leadership of Nehawu, as well as the accounting officer of the legislature, to immediately resolve the “pertinent issues concerning the health and safety of employees, amongst other issues”.

Masina said the Speaker firmly believed that the health and safety of employees was of paramount importance and could not be compromised.

“Interactions with Nehawu will continue with urgency to amicably resolve matters that still need attention.”

She added that Mmoiemang had full confidence in the matter before the National Prosecuting Authority and that it would deal with the matter of the alleged fraud and corruption involving officials of the legislature before it, without “fear, favour and prejudice”.

Both the Hawks and police were yesterday unable to confirm that a complaint had been registered regarding the tender that was awarded for the refurbishment of the legislature precinct.