PRESS RELEASE: COSATU NW on the non-compliances of the municipalities
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the NW has learned that from early August to October 2013 most of the municipalities are not complying with the OHS Act of our country and this has been confirmed by many deaths that have been taking place in the municipalities due to the non-compliance.
The federation, jointly with SAMWU, has requested the Department of Labour (DOL) to do inspections in all the municipalities, in particular those that we have received complaints about from our members and from some of the communities around those municipalities.
Our statement is now confirmed by the inspection done by DOL in the following municipalities:
It is unfortunate that in some of the municipalities we have lost workers’ lives already in Vryburg, Matlosana and now Kgetleng. In all those municipalities workers have been complaining about the poor conditions of service, including not being provided with protective clothes, in particular those who work at sewerage plants.
The inspection report confirmed that workers in those municipalities are not provided with all equipment, and not given training and medication while working in those critical areas.
We have lost two workers again due to the same conduct of the municipality of Kgetleng and workers who are working at the sewerage plant at Swartruggens have been complaining about the non-compliance of the municipalities.
The DOL reports for some of those municipalities can be given to the media for their own confirmation. It is clear that the majority of our municipalities do not care about the lives of our poor workers.
Most of our municipalities are run from outside; others are run by officials and politicians who act in the interests of their pockets and the interests of those who are giving them instructions outside the municipalities.
It is clear from the DOL report that we are facing a critical crisis as the poor working class. Money is used to protect killers and to train workers for better servicing of our poor communities who voted most of those politicians into power.
Losing two workers due to non-compliance to them is nothing. They would rather lose a life than spend millions for training workers. For them money is much more important than the life of a worker.
It is clear from the DOL report that all those workers who work at the sewerage plant are contaminated and therefore need to be taken for medical examination by a qualified OHS doctor.
We call on the DOL to inspect all the municipalities early in 2014 and that those who are currently not complying, like Kgetleng, Naledi and many others, must face the laws unapologetic to anyone. The municipal managers and mayors must account for all deaths and injuries that have taken place in the municipalities.
We are demanding that our members and all workers in the province should refuse to work in an unsafe workplace, which is your right in the LRA and OHS Acts.
The report received on 13th December 2013 from the DOL confirmed our allegations. Anyone who is challenging them must go to court and we are prepared to stand there to defend our members and our country.
We will not rest until our poor workers and poor communities are respected and all laws of our country are respected.
We are calling on the media to name and shame those culprits who are in the pocket of capitalists to destroy our young democracy.
What happened at Naledi and now Kgetleng is a confirmation that senior managers and their politicians do not care about our poor workers who must provide services to the poor voters.
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary Solly Phetoe [08203044055 or 0727100947]