2 July 2019
SAMWU supports withdrawal of EMS in High-Risk Areas
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) in the Gauteng province is greatly concerned about the safety of Joburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) employees particularly tracing to the incident that has occurred this past weekend where three crew members of EMS were attacked and the emergency vehicle was damaged.
SAMWU, therefore, has backed Joburg EMS’s decision to suspend ambulance services to Cosmo City because of the tragedy. The union has numerously noted with great concern the constant risk that public safety employees’ face on a daily basis when they get a call to service the community. It is incredibly disheartening that workers face constant anxiety towards their work as they do not know when they may be attacked while on duty. The increase in trends wherein EMS employees have been attacked while responding to legitimate emergencies and hoaxes in order to lure them to be attacked and robbed has become a concern that needs immediate attention.
SAMWU regrets that the residents of Cosmo City will not receive ambulance services on this temporary time, however, we are fully behind the decision to suspend EMS from Cosmo City under the noted grievances until the city feels it is feasible to send ambulances back into the area.
We can’t allow a situation where the lives of EMS employees are exposed to deathly threats and nothing is done about it, workers deserve a safe environment to work in. With the number of police services in the City of Johannesburg, an intervention from them is needed in order to put pressure on communities in ensuring that they do not put the lives of municipal workers at risk. We also call on the members of Cosmo City to work with the authorities to ensure that a safe and conducive environment for both the community and public workers is enabled.
SAMWU, therefore, demands that the City of Johannesburg Municipality intervenes with great urgency to address the Cosmo City residents on the basis that will ensure the safety of EMS employees. The EMS employees should be shuttled with security in a case of an emergency call. We also demand that workers that fell victim to the attack receive adequate counselling while the criminals that attacked the workers are pursued and arrested.
Issued by SAMWU Gauteng Province
(079 298 5577)
Deputy Provincial Secretary
(082 653 6443)