Gauteng puts employee safety first

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management, Tasneem Motara, said her department will continue to monitor the maintenance of old buildings and progress of new structures that are currently under construction.

Motara said this is to ensure the safety of employees and all the people that are using the buildings.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Motara said her department has issued landlords -- who own the 13 buildings they are leasing on behalf of the provincial government -- with the necessary compliance notices to improve on Occupational Health and Safety.

“The safety of employees comes first,” MEC Motara said.

Motara assured all employees who work in the buildings that are under their care that they are committed to creating a conducive environment for work.

“We will work hard to make sure that all our people look forward to coming to work daily and that they perform their tasks without fear that the building that are in can cause harm to them.

“We will do all we can to ensure that the events of September 2018, as we observed at the Bank of Lisbon, does not happen again,” Motara said.

This month marks exactly a year since three firefighters lost their lives in a blaze at the Bank of Lisbon building in central Joburg.

At the time, the building was occupied by employees from the Departments of Human Settlements, Health and Cooperative Governance.

Motara said she instructed her team to pay more attention to the needs of the people when conducting routine inspections.

“All the people of Gauteng who work in our buildings and indeed those who come to our buildings, whether it’s a hospital, school, clinic, office or multi-purpose centres must be safe,” the MEC said.

According to Motara, her department’s officials have visited many buildings in a bid to ensure that they are suitable for occupation.

Motara said she has dedicated Mondays to visit sites where her department is doing work.

“I have chosen Mondays for various reasons, one being the nature of the construction industry and the slow pace of work which creeps in on Mondays and Fridays. This has assisted the department to keep its finger on the pulse of activities it is conducting and unblock issues where they arise - whether from municipalities, communities, service providers or client departments,” Motara said.

Since the inception of #SiteVisitMondays, Motara and her team have visited a total of 23 sites.

“We have unblocked many challenges, taken decisions to address delays and will continue to put pressure on all concerned to deliver our projects on time, within budget and according to the expectation of our citizens,” Motara said.  

The Department of Infrastructure has since took a decision to demolish the Bank of Lisbon building. Preparations to demolish the building are underway. –