Dangerous Den

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

Unsafe conditions at hostels for blind people have forced the labour department to shut down the premises in Limpopo.

Labour inspectors acted against the Setololwane Elson School by banning use of the hostels.

The hostels were found to be in contravention of occupational health and safety laws.

The department said live electricity wires posed a danger to the students. Spokesman for the department, Zolisa Sigabi, said the order comes after workplace inspections came up with a shocking assessment report.

The prohibition was issued in terms of the Electrical Installation Regulation and Environmental Regulation for Workplaces stipulations.

"During the raid inspectors found the two main substations permanently opened and open live wires exposed, fire fighting equipment removed and fire hoses not serviced, posing a danger to persons and workers," Sigabi said.

The department ordered that the main electricity transformer and distribution boxes be locked to prevent access to live high-voltage electrical wires.

"We don't want people to be electrocuted owing to negligence. Exposure to high-voltage wires is very dangerous," she said.

But education department spokesman Ndo Mangala said that contractors had been appointed to deal with the problem.

"We have appointed contractors and we believe that the problem will be addressed," Mangala said.