Minister Sisulu calls for COVID-19 Free Construction Sites
The Minister of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu has called on all developers, contractors, construction companies, human settlements and housing built environment professionals and property practitioners to ensure that all workplaces and construction sites are compliant with the required occupational health and safety protocols, to combat the COVID19 pandemic. This includes sanitization of constructions sites, daily screening and the provision and wearing of personal protective equipment. This follows President Ramaphosa’s announcement to move the country to a level 3 lockdown in terms of the risk adjusted strategy.
The Minister indicated that the human settlements and housing sector has more than 2000 Government-led projects that are in various stages of implementation, with more than 50 000 employed in these projects.
“The Government is the biggest developer and funder of construction in the country, we employ more than 50 000 people daily, and it is for this reason that we are calling on all our service providers to make sure that all the building sites are ready, and they must prioritise the safety of the workers” Sisulu said.
The Minister added that municipal inspectors, NHBRC inspectors and senior managers responsible for the monitoring of human Settlements projects must support the Department of Labour, and also inspect projects, and make sure that workers are safe at all times. “All service providers and construction sites must be assisted to comply with COVID-19 regulations and protocols, and if they do not comply, their sites must be closed” Sisulu said.
The application and adherence to health and safety protocols are important as the Department is accelerating allocation of housing units to households in Metropolitan Municipalities, that have been identified as Covid-19 hotspots. Starting from this week, over 3000 housing units will be allocated to owners in and around Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. This is part of the government initiative to de-congest and allow for social distancing, in areas which are dense and overcrowded. It must be noted that the work on programmes had already commenced prior to the advent of the COVID19 pandemic.
The Metropolitan Municipalities are urged to provide starter packs of personal protective equipment for all beneficiaries of these units as they receive keys to their homes. The National Department will also conduct consumer awareness programmes in all these new projects as a way of keeping safe from Covid-19.
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