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by Gerhard Papenfus

NEASA continuously endeavours to keep you up to date on developments to assist you in navigating your path through this unprecedented moment in, not only South Africa’s, but the world’s history. However, there is more at stake here than just compliance with the regulations. It is therefore also our role to give you some perspective, at least from our point of view.

In a previous communique, we commented on the draconian penalties in terms of the Health and Safety Act, in case of an act or omission by an employer causing any person to be injured at the workplace.

Government’s style aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 (at least in terms of their evaluation of this ‘threat’), has increased the risk for employers in the area of health and safety multifold. It has created huge opportunities for over-zealous inspectors of the Department of Employment and Labour and hostile trade unions.

One can just imagine the demands, within the extended health and safety Covid-19 framework government has established, that trade unions will put to employers. The unions will also serve as the eyes and ears of the Department of Employment and Labour inspectors. Employers are therefore advised to be vigilant at all times in complying with these regulations for as long they are applicable. We hope that sanity will soon prevail – the sooner the better.

Yesterday, an employer pointed out to me that, within his workplace, he is doing everything he can to comply with all the newly introduced measures (drafted by bureaucrats who have never generated a single cent themselves), only to see his workers removing their masks and boarding over-capacitated taxis after work. This clearly illustrates how impractical this whole arrangement is, while potentially making outlaws of employers.

The bureaucrats have drafted these regulations, this handy, albeit over the top tool to victimise employers, with astonishing zeal. Can you imagine where South Africa would have been if our political leadership, with the help of the bureaucrats, had tackled and rooted out state capture, corruption and maladministration in all forms of government and State Owned Enterprises with the same effort. Strangely, they did not, and there seems to be very little enthusiasm towards that cause.

This overreaction, in respect of the Covid-19 drive, and an almost complete lack of activity on the other issues, which will directly impact on the viability of the state on the long run, cannot go unnoticed.

For more information:
NEASA Media Department
Marietha Thirion

We are all in this together.
Privileged and challenged to be South African.