Home News NC Education dept workers return to ‘dirty’ offices

NC Education dept workers return to ‘dirty’ offices

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According to the employees, this was despite promises by the employer to sterilise the building before their return.

WORKERS at the Northern Cape Department of Education’s offices in Homestead were apparently met with dirty offices when they returned to their desks on Monday.

According to the employees, this was despite promises by the employer to sterilise the building before their return.

The workers said on Tuesday that when they arrived at work on Monday morning the premises were dirty and they were informed that most of the cleaners were off sick.

The staff members said that they had been informed that the building had been deep-cleaned, they would be screened, and that they would get sanitisers and masks when they arrived for work.

One of the workers said they were screened upon arrival at the premises and they were given two washable masks each. “However, the offices inside were filthy and there were no hand sanitisers provided.

“Upon enquiry to management, we were told that the building had been sterilised. How can a building that is so dirty be sanitised?”

“We were also told that most of the cleaning staff is off sick,” said the staff member.

Another employee said that they found their work stations in the same condition that they had left them in when the lockdown was initiated.

He questioned the department’s “credibility” in terms of protecting its employees.

“If the department fails to follow procedures to protect its first few workers who return to work, how is it going to protect the teachers and pupils when they eventually return to school?

“This is really unacceptable.” 

He stated that his colleagues were afraid to complain as they feared victimisation. 

Department spokesperson Lehuma Ntuane refuted the claims and insisted that all offices were disinfected and that all officials were “sanitised” before they entered the premises.

“Face masks were handed to staff as they entered and there is daily screening at all entrance points,” said Ntuane

“There is also a Covid-19 questionnaire that officials must respond to as part of the Covid-19 regulations.”