Sequel to the return of contractors to sites, the Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlement’s weekly Covid-19 compliance assessment exercise continued at Emthonjeni Extension 4, Emakhazeni Local Municipality recently.
The delegation visited 470 housing units’ project set to be completed by the end of the second quarter (July – September 2020). The visit aimed at checking adherence to measures put in place by government for contractors to adhere to. To enforce compliance, contractors are expected to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), masks, sanitizers as well as conducting daily screening of workers.
Taking the assessment through Agisanang’s Site Manager Mr. Francoius Boonzaier demonstrated at length the needed safety protocols that in are place. “We have put in place the necessary safety measures and have conducted awareness on our labour and we are also conducting daily screenings prior to commencement with work”, emphasised Boonzaier. He further added that as per the requisite to return to site they have appointed full-time safety officer who is seized with safety issues and screening of labourers.
To the satisfaction of the team, Agisanang received thumbs up with safety and the quality of houses they have built in the area. Airing the Department’s resolute stance on safety, Accounting Officer (HOD), Mr Kebone Masange said that contractors are not alone and are continuously assisted with issues of compliance by the Department. “These assessments are important as we cannot throw safety book to them and leave them to dry. It is through these assessments that we help them with compliance”, charged Masange. He also stated that the Department is generally happy with compliance onsite and intending to keep that way.
The Department unannounced its readiness last month giving details, priority areas and safety measures that ought to be adhered to and mitigate the transfer of the pandemic. This move followed the easing of national lockdown, which saw the immediate stoppage of all construction works on-site to alert Level 4 as announced by the President of Republic of South Africa. In her 2020/21 Budget Vote presentation last week, MEC Norah Mahlangu submitted that part of the exercise is to “assist municipalities with mass sanitisation and disinfect high risk areas in informal settlements to enable social distancing and self-isolation thereby reducing the possibility of community spread”. More unannounced projects visits by the MEC and the team will continue