The Department of Employment and Labour in the Western Cape will target businesses in the Southern Cape this week amidst complaints of non-compliance.
From Wednesday, labour inspectors will be visiting employers in George, Mossel Bay and Knysna to check compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act no. 85 of 1993.
Just a few weeks ago, businesses in Knysna received a reality check when their operations and trading were shut down due to non-compliance with the OHS Act and COVID-19 regulations. This after six out of ten businesses were served with prohibition notices in Knysna CBD.
This time around, an even larger contingency of inspectors will come to the area. According to David Esau, Provincial Chief Inspector, the focus will now shift to responding to complaints at various workplaces and to encourage workers to come forward to report non-compliance. “The Department is working closely with all partners to ensure compliance and prevent the spread of the disease at workplaces. Workers and partners alike need to take a stand and report employers who flout regulations” he said. “With the area fast becoming a hotspot and a growing number of confirmed cases, all role-players need to play their part when it comes to slowing the spread of the disease”.
Esau confirmed that the intention is not to permanently close businesses, but to get businesses to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations as set out in the law.
Continuous inspections will be carried out by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspectors throughout the province to ensure that minimum standards have been put in place to ensure the safety of both employees and in certain working environments, the safety of clients as well.
“Please continue to adhere to the lockdown regulations. Stay home, wash your hands regularly and keep maintaining the social distance.”