CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 21, 2020/ — Located within the heart of Free State mining, Welkom Labour Centre has on Friday 17 July 2020, closed its offices due to an official testing positive for COVID-19.
The affected employee is part of key frontline officials. During the initial stages of level 5 lockdown, the affected official was part of the employees who were rendering some of the Departments’ most essential services to the public without hesitation.
According to Ms Emily Maneli, Chief Director: Provincial Operations; the affected official did on Monday notify her supervisors that a close family member had tested positive for COVID-19. She was since advised not to report for duty until the status of her contraction had been determined. On Friday the 17 July 2020, the official confirmed that she too has tested positive for COVID-19.
Due to the nature of her occupation, she interacts daily with a number of officials and as a result, numerous officials are expected to go on mandatory self-isolation.
The number of officials to go on mandatory self-isolation is 20.
Ms Maneli has noted that this will negatively impact service delivery as the affected Labour Centre is one of the biggest Labour Centres in the province servicing some of our most vulnerable clients.
Ms Maneli has urged clients to use the Departments’ online services or drop boxes located at the Labour Centre to access the Department’s services.
Director-General of the department has previously stated that the safety of staff remains paramount. “Our officials are an important cog of the working of the South African economy and as such, we will also ensure that they are as safe as possible,” said Mr Lamati.
The office is expected to reopen on Friday 24 July 2020.
The matter has been reported to the Department of Health.
Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour