Govt gym lies idle

2014-10-27 00:00

UNHEALTHY Pietermaritzburg civil servants are getting a chance to slim down with some trendy outdoor gym equipment — that’s if someone ever unwraps it.

In the office of the Premier alone, a total of 18,9% of their employees are on chronic medication at a cost of R2,093 million of taxpayers’ money a year.

According to Ndabezinhle Sibiya, spokesperson for the office of the premier, the gym was erected to “ensure good health status and wellbeing of civil servants”.

The gym is situated next to the Natalia building on the corner of Langalibalele and Boshoff streets. An array of machines custom-made for outdoor use have been standing there unused and wrapped in plastic for a month.

The equipment is valued at at least R200 000.

Sibiya said that reports on government departments had revealed high absenteeism levels as a result of sickness and alcohol abuse “caused by stress and depression. This affects government performance and service delivery in general.”

He said research had shown that state employees suffer from obesity-related diseases such as high blood pressure, clotting disorders and diabetes.

“Support for employees’ wellbeing through employee health wellness programmes has long been a critical imperative in the corporate world and many governments,” Sibiya said.

“It is for this reason that we have to step in as government to assist employees with the outdoor gym.”

Sibiya said the gym has not been used yet because there are still features to be added.


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