Labour Centres Closed In South Africa’s Cities Over COVID-19

Ethiopiaon doctors attend training to use mechanical ventilators for COVID-19 patients at the American Medical Center(AMC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 1, 2020. (Photo by Michael Tewelde / AFP)

South Africa’s labour centres have been closed down to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after employees contracted the disease.

The centres – Cape Town Labour Centre and the Oudtshoorn Labour Centre – were closed on Friday after recording a positive case each.

The labour centres will remain closed to allow workers who may have been in contact with the affected employees to self-isolate and for decontamination to take place.

According to the Chief Director: Provincial Operations, Mawele Ntamo, the officials have interacted with other employees who were working at the labour centres.

The affected employees will also be referred for counselling.

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To date, the Department of Employment and Labour has been conducting regular assessments of staff, this includes daily health checks and temperature screening.

Ntamo in a statement said, “The Department wishes to continue to remind citizens and officials not to become complacent as fears of a second wave hitting the province and country at large, remains high on the agenda. Staff have been receiving ongoing information on the importance of sanitization, correct wearing of masks and also COVID-19 protocol interventions.

“The Department will therefore continue to create awareness and enforce protocols.”

Western Cape labour centres has been hard hit by closures, especially at the peak of the virus. Just last month, both Knysna and Plettenberg Bay offices were also closed.

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It is expected that both Cape Town and Oudtshoorn Labour Centres will reopen by Tuesday, 13 October. Clients are encouraged to make use of the Department’s online services in the meantime.

The Department has also since reported the infections to the Department of Health.

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