Covid-19 has claimed lives of 63 municipal workers, says Samwu

Covid-19 has claimed lives of 63 municipal workers, says Samwu

The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) says over 4500 municipal workers across the country have tested positive for Covid-19.

Gauteng Health Department worker
Gauteng Health Department.

A total of 63 have died after being infected by the virus.

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According to the union, the community safety and healthcare workers are the hardest hit.

Western Cape has the most confirmed cases among municipal workers with 3103, while Gauteng has 557.

Sawu general-secretary Koena Ramotlou says they had previously warned against moving certain municipalities to level 3 of the lockdown.

“When the country moved to level 3, we raised concerns that municipalities were just not ready for the return of all workers as they had failed to guarantee their health and safety in the initial stages of the lockdown and under lockdown level 5 and 4.

“Service delivery cannot continue at the expense of the lives of municipal workers.”

He says staff should refuse to go to work if their health and safety cannot be guaranteed.

“The health and safety of workers remains the responsibility of employers, including municipalities. We are not going to negotiate municipal workers’ health and safety.”

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