Tebogo Msimanga |
The National Education, Health & Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) says it is extremely worried about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in institutions of higher learning across the country.
This past week, 55 students tested positive for COVID-19 at the University of Pretoria while other universities have also reported a growing number of transmissions.
NEHAWU general Secretary Zola Saphetha said on 19th January 2021, the national union pleaded with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to ensure that all institutions are ready to welcome back workers and students including putting all necessary measures in place to avert COVID-19 infections.
“This was after the department failed to consult labour as an important stakeholder in the sector. It seems our calls fell on deaf ears as we are now faced with a growing number of COVID-19 cases.”
Saphetha added that the results of the visits to the institutions reveal that the majority of the colleges and universities are not ready to safely welcome back workers and students.
“ Most institutions do not have Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), not enough space for social distancing, proper sanitation and functioning health and safety committees. The national union will release a full report on its mission report which will also be shared with the Minister of Higher Education and Training.”
The Union is calling on Higher Health to increase its visibility in all campuses, particularly the historically disadvantaged institutions that do not have a lot of resources.