State attorney's building a health hazard for workers, reeks of raw sewage

A building where employees of the state attorney are housed in Johannesburg has been flagged as a health hazard.
A building where employees of the state attorney are housed in Johannesburg has been flagged as a health hazard.
Image: Felix Lipov/123RF STOCK PHOTO

The Public Servants' Association wants the department of labour to urgently investigate unhealthy and hazardous conditions at a building occupied by the state attorney in the Johannesburg CBD where staff are greeted by raw sewage.

The union said in a statement on Wednesday that it had, on different occasions in the past year, reported poor working conditions at the North State Building, on Albertina Sisulu Street, to the department of justice.

The union, representing more than 240,000 members in the public sector, said there was a leak of raw sewage in the building. Employees had to park their cars in sewage and walk through it to enter the building.

"The entire building reeks of sewage. One union member’s car was covered in raw sewage when yet another pipe burst."


In addition, some of the lifts in the building were damaged when a water pipe burst on the fifth floor in April.

"Water was streaming down the stairs and into the lifts, leaving the employees ankle-deep in water. The lifts have been out of order since then," the union claimed.

The Public Servants' Association said that during power outages, certain areas, including the stairs, were dark as there were no emergency lights or generators in the building.

The union said the government would leave it with no option but to take legal action should it continue failing to upgrade buildings to required standards.

This article will be updated with a response from the department of justice.

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