The United National Transport Union (UNTU) cautioned Transnet Corporate that there has been very little compliance with the state-owned enterprise (SOE) comprehensive plan to combat the spreading of the COVID-19 global pandemic at operation level where it is the most at risk.
“Don’t just think about the Transnet employees sitting in glass offices. What is being done to limit the amounts of employees in mess rooms, to sanitise trains while train crews are relieving each other, to dispose when breathalysers and to provide hand sanitizer also to the RME workers?
“This is the basics that should have been done by now. UNTU members nationwide are complaining that they have not been attended to despite National Treasury softening procurement procedures to ensure that these essentials can be bought where they are found, bearing in mind the national shortage thereof,” says Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU.
Transnet established integrated task teams and crisis committees in every business division long before the first patient with COVID-19 was reported. War room was establish to deliberate on the progress daily and to make rapid decisions to react to the pandemic.
According to Harris experts warn that the impact of COVID-19 could be catastrophic for South Africa due to the high levels of people living with HIV/aids and TB.
Dr Marion Borcherds, Group Wellness and Transformation Manager of Transnet, confirmed this concern. According to her there are 7.7 million people living with HIV/Aids in South Africa of which only 62% are receiving treatment. They and people with diabetes, immune diseases and pregnant women are very vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Although we appreciate this swift reaction from Transnet Group, the SOE needs to step-up to ensure that the operational levels are complying. At the same time UNTU appeals to our members to co-operate, to raise concerns and report what more can be done to ensure your safety and not to abuse the measures taken for personal gain,” says Harris.
To date nobody working for Transnet had been positively tested.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Deputy General-Secretary: Media, Liaison and Communication. For UNTU press releases phone 082 463 6806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.