SAFTU KZN welcomes the address by the Premier –Sihle Zikalala together with MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane Zulu on the 19th April 2020 in relation to tightening measures around eThekwini District.
SAFTU view this as a step towards the right direction in combating the spread of COVID-19. We also view this as an attempt by the Premier to listen and meet our calls/demands which were captured in our statement issued on the 13th April 2020. Such a gesture is appreciated but we still feel that more can be done to save lives and the spread of the virus in our province.
We further take note that the measures comes at the time where our province is faced with serious increasing numbers of both deaths and people being infected with the virus, with number of deaths at 23 and infections at 617.
SAFTU KZN is under NO illusion that the above numbers are not a true reflection of people infected with the virus, noting that KwaZulu Natal got a number of 11.1 million people compared to the few thousands that have been screened and tested currently.
While we take note that eThekwini is the economic hub of our province and the metro, our views is that, the plan as indicated in our previous statement must include all districts within the province, with priority given to the Six Towns which are Port Shepstone, Pietermaritzburg, Richards bay, Empangeni ,Ladysmith and Newcastle.
The Premier and MEC would have appreciate that the above mentioned towns got a lot of factories with huge number of employees which posed serious danger to the current statistics of both deaths and infections.
SAFTU KZN, wish to also reiterate its call to both the Premier and the MEC that ALL front liners during this period of lockdown MUST be screened and tested ASAP.
The Premier and MEC are aware that number of employees in various hospitals including public hospitals has been reported to be infected of this virus such as Addington and many unreported incidents within public hospitals. SAFTU KZN DOES NOT support the sectional testing where Corona virus has been reported in the hospitals but calls for a TOTAL/COMPLETE screening of Public servants in an affected hospitals, followed by testing where necessary.
We further take note on the reports by one private hospital within our province of a case of the pregnant mother who gave birth to a baby which tested positive for Corona virus. This is the issue of concern within our maternity wards in our public hospitals and should serve as warning on the seriousness of this virus and importance of COVID19 free staff.
Factories such as Albany bakery –Monclair has been reported with employees being infected, hence a demand by our affiliated union-FAWU which has demanded that all workers to be tested and compensated for IOD (Injury On Duty). It is amongst these experiences that made SAFTU to demand that all FRONT LINERS during this period to be screened and tested as opposed to the problem –reaction approach.
We are therefore making the following demands to both Premier and MEC for Health:-
SAFTU while welcome the centralization of quarantine to all those infected as demanded in our previous statement, but we wish to urge the Premier to ensure that such process is NOT
used for selfish interest, corruption such as using of expensive B&B, Hotels but consider the usage of Community halls, churches etc.
Lastly, we are also calling on the Premier to consider of PAYING DIRECT the recipient of food parcels in combating of fraud and corruption. It is our view that grants recipients are known by Department of Social welfare-data base. Therefore there is no need for food to be purchased but an additional Minimum of R800 to R1000 to grants recipients during the lockdown period to be considered as opposed to food parcel which has been distributed through party lines.
Statement On behalf of SAFTU KZN,
Issued by Moses A Mautsoe