THE South Africa Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has called on government to accelerate its vaccination programme and give jabs to all municipal workers in South Africa.
“Given the fact that municipal workers are in the coalface of service delivery and that their nature of work mostly requires interactions with residents and other workers, the PEC is of the view that more needs to be done to protect the lives and health of municipal workers so to ensure that services are not interrupted especially during a time when the country is facing a surge in infections,” said SAWMU.
“Last year when the country was placed on a hard lockdown by government, we were told that municipal workers are essential service workers and as such they should be reporting for during the lockdown. Now when a vaccine is available and the rolling out thereof has begun, there is no single mention of municipal workers.”
SAMWU announced two weeks ago that at least 63 municipal workers have succumbed to the virus while a further 4 571 have been confirmed as positive cases.
“We are greatly concerned that the number of positive cases are on a steady increase, with the most cases registered in Western Cape (3103), Gauteng (557) and Eastern Cape (486). The Eastern Cape province has recorded the highest number of deaths (27) followed by Western Cape (15) and Gauteng (11),” said SAMWU.
“We have also noted that the greatest number of employees who have tested positive are from Community Safety (Metro Police and Fire and Ambulances), community health workers and those in solid waste departments. We, therefore, call on greater focus these groups of workers as we believe there is not much being done to protect them.”
SAMWU added: “As the epicenter of the virus shifts to Gauteng Province, we are greatly concerned about the health and safety of municipal workers. SAMWU, therefore, demands greater compliance of COVID-19 regulations by all municipalities.”
- Inside Politics