CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 13, 2020/ — With the Western Cape being the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus, its effects are being felt in all areas of work. The Department of Employment and Labour is no exception as yet another one of its offices has been affected. Mitchells Plain Labour Centre in Cape Town, as well as its satellite office in Nyanga, closed its doors on Thursday as one of the employees tested positive for the virus.
The labour centre has been closed to allow workers who may have been in contact with the affected employee to self isolate and for the office to be decontaminated.
The closure comes just days after the office opened its doors to serve the public directly since lockdown regulations were implemented at the end of March.
According to the Chief Director: Provincial Operations, Mawele Ntamo, the official has interacted with other employees who were working at the labour centre. The affected employees will now self-isolate and also be referred for counselling. To date, offices have been conducting regular assessments of staff which includes daily health checks and temperature screening.
Thobile Lamati, Director-General of the Department has previously stated that the safety of staff remain 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.”, he said.
The labour centre is one of several that has been affected by the COVID-19 virus in as many days. Just last week, both the Cape Town and Vredenburg Labour Centres were closed. Both have since opened and services resumed.
It is expected that Mitchells Plain Labour Centre and Nyanga Satellite Office will open to the public again on Wednesday, 17 June 2020. Clients are in the meantime asked to make use of the Department’s online services.
The case has also since been reported to the Department of Health.