How to report businesses that flout Covid rules
- Workers and the general public can lay complaints against companies who don’t adhere to Covid-19 health rules with the labour department’s inspectors, as well as at labour centres across the country
- All provinces have a designated inspector tasked with monitoring whether businesses comply with the rules.
- The National Planning Commission recently said that workplaces are showing poor compliance with the Covid health and safety rules.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
If you are aware of a business that is risking lives by not adhering to Covid-19 health rules, it is relatively easy to report them.
Workers and the general public can lay complaints against companies who do not adhere to Covid-19 health rules with inspectors of the department of labour, or at labour centres around the country.
All companies must abide by the directives issued by South Africa’s occupational health and safety act, which requires that employers adhere to stringent Covid-19 health and safety protocols. Failure to do so could result in a business effectively being shut down, and or being taken to labour court.
Workplaces are also required to have a health and safety committee tasked with developing a plan outlining Covid-19 health protocols such as social distancing, mask wearing, sanitising and ensuring that government guidelines are adhered to.
Speaking to Business Insider SA, acting labour department spokesperson Musa Zondi said while the department has had to close down many governments offices because of failure to adhere to the rules, the biggest non-compliers were mostly private sector companies.
Last month, The National Planning Committee also warned that workplace compliance with Covid-19 protocols was generally “extremely poor” and that it needed to be improved.
For minor transgressions, companies will be given an improvement notice which Zondi defines as a warning to fix what is defective within the workplace.
An improvement notice normally flags issues within a workplace that have the potential to be dangerous, such as a lack of mask wearing.
If that is not adhered to, a prohibition notice is given. “A prohibition notice really shuts you down, you can’t do anything until those specific areas have been sorted out,” Zondi said.
If a business still does not comply, a contravention notice is issued, and the business owner appears before a labour court.
“After a certain period, we then go back to check whether those things that we raised have been sorted out. If not, then we take you straight to the labour court and they will make the determination as they see fit,” said Zondi.
For complaints, chief inspector Tibor Szana can be reached on Tibor.Szana@labour.gov.za, alternatively on 012 3094389.
Here's how you can reach provincial chief inspectors in each province:
Provincial Chief Inspector
Adv. Lucky Mkhonto
Tel: 043 701 3287/ 043 701 3279
Provincial Chief Inspector
Mr Manelisi Luxande
Tel: 051 505 6325
Adv. Michael Msiza
Tel: 012 309 5110
Tel: 031 366 2201/ 031 366 2203
Tel: 015 290 1613
Tel: 013 655 8775
Tel: 018 387 8104
Tel: 053 838 1502
Tel: 021 441 8088/ 021 441 8208
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