PSA takes government departments to Labour Court over 'unsafe' Civitas building

2018-09-21 19:46

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The Public Servants' Association of South Africa (PSA) has taken its fight with two national departments over the occupation of the Civitas Building in Pretoria to the Labour Court in Johannesburg.

"The PSA took national health and public works to the Labour Court arguing that workers cannot continue to work in an unsafe working environment and the building must be shut down," PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks said in a statement.

The PSA is of the view that the Civitas Building, which is occupied by national health department employees, is in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

As a result, the PSA made an application seeking an order that will direct the two departments to "move employees to an environment that is safe and without risk to the health of its employees".

Presiding Judge Andre Van Niekerk questioned whether the Labour Court had jurisdiction over the case and thus postponed the matter.

"The judge has postponed the matter and requested that parties address him on the jurisdiction of Labour Court to close down a building," Fredericks explained.

The safety of buildings in Gauteng has been a matter of national concern following the tragic deaths of three firefighters earlier this month following a fire at the Bank of Lisbon Building in Johannesburg. The building, which housed the Gauteng departments of health, human settlements and cooperative governance and traditional affairs, was later revealed to be only 21% compliant with occupational health and safety regulations.

The matter has been postponed October 11.

Read more on:    pretoria

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