CAPE TOWN- Ministers of the economic cluster serving on the National Coronavirus Command Council, briefed the media on Friday regarding the Level 3 regulations which is set to kick in on 1 June.
Here’s what you need to know as revealed by various ministers in the economic cluster.
Places of work
Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nxesi said in order for workplaces to reopen they are required to appoint Covid-19 compliance officers, undertake a risk assessment in the workplace, and develop a plan for the return to work.
Workers diagnosed with Covid-19 must be placed on 14 days of quarantine with paid sick leave, says Nxesi. The minister stressed that all persons should wear masks in the workplace and workers over the age of 60 should not return to work.
“Employees have the right to refuse to work if they have a reasonable belief that the precautions have not been put in place to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. Employers may not deduct the cost of covid-19 precautions from employees wages,” he said.
Nxesi said there has been”low compliance” in some workplaces as they do not adhere to health and safety measures. Out of a total of 3 844 inspections, 2 116 places of work complied while 1 724 failed to comply.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has paid out over R15 billion in Covid-19 benefits to 3 million workers.
EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS FOR LOCKDOWN ALERT 3.
– Appojnt a COVID-19 Comoliance Officer
– Workers have a right to refuse to work if they have reasonable belief that necessary precautions have not been put in place to prevent virus spread.#Level3Regulations pic.twitter.com/I2oJJFVigH
— Minister Thulas Nxesi (@NxesiThulas) May 29, 2020
Trade and Industry minister Ebrahim Patel said that efforts have been ramped up to produce masks locally and that by the end of June it is estimated that 35 million masks will have been produced.
Patel said that before the pandemic reached the country, ventilators were not being produced. However, by the end of August the department is hoping to reach the target of locally producing around 20 000 ventilators.
Competition Commissioner Thembinkosi Bonakele said that while there have been price hikes for some products, especially with food items, the commission will continue to monitor the situation.
Public Works minister Patricia de Lille says the department’s responsibility is to ensure quarantine sites across the country meets the health and hygiene standards. 1 751 quarantine facilities have been identified and of these 642 are state owned.
De Lille added that over 10,000 South Africans have been repatriated from around the world, all of which were required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Energy minister Gwede Mantashe outlined the mining & energy interventions aimed at combating the spread of the virus. As the nation enters into lockdown level 3 and the economy reopens this will increase demand for power he said. As a result, diesel will be rationed to meet the power demand until the end of this month.
— Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (@DMR_SA) May 29, 2020
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