Gauteng education department staff protest over office building safety

The Gauteng education district offices in Parkmore, Johannesburg, have been closed for the past nine days as workers are demanding better working conditions.

On Thursday the workers protested outside their offices.

Marvelous Ndlovu, branch secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), said the department was not treating them with respect.

“The building does not comply with occupational health safety. We have been complaining about it since we moved in 2009 but our pleas fell on deaf ears. The building is hostile to people with disability. [The] Registry is piling up with documents and it can collapse any time,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu said they wanted an independent body to assess the building.

Another Nehawu branch leader, Kgatishi Lamola, said their demands were not unreasonable.

“Our concern is the safety of the workers. As for our emergency exits we have rusty steps that can collapse any moment. We can't allow our members to work under such horrible conditions,” he said.

The group said they will protest until their grievances have been addressed by the department.

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