“Our lives are in danger and we are also worried for our families in the event that someone becomes infected with the coronavirus.”
SOL PLAATJE Municipality security workers fear contracting the coronavirus as they are being “squashed like sardines” into the back of a bakkie en route to work.
SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) security shop steward Andrew Mongale said the bakkie is overloaded and that Covid-19 regulations are not being adhered to, with up to 13 workers being transported in the vehicle per trip.
“There are supposed to be a maximum of six people travelling in the bakkie, while currently there are two people in front and nine at the back,” said Mongale on Tuesday.
“We travel together under these overcrowded conditions for about an hour as workers are collected from their residences in Club 2000, Roodepan and Phutanang before they are dropped off at their work stations or at the council yard.
“The vehicle is not sanitised before it collects the next shift of workers. We are unable to observe social distancing because we have to sit on top of each other.”
Mongale said the minibus that was usually used to transport the workers had experienced mechanical failure in November last year.
“The garage is apparently waiting for parts and in the meantime we are crammed into the back of a bakkie. Our lives are in danger and we are also worried for our families in the event that someone becomes infected with the coronavirus.”
Mongale added that there were no private taxis available to transport them to work as they worked night and early morning shifts.
“I have raised this matter with the health and safety representative, the security manager and the mayor, but it seems as if nobody cares because management are given car allowances and fancy cars.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said that everything possible was being done to protect the health of employees and to provide a safe working environment.
“We will follow up on the repairs to the minibus as a matter of urgency. At the same time, we urge all employees to discuss these issues with their unit managers,” said Matsie.