SAMWU warns of closure of DLTCs in Cape Town

23 June 2020

SAMWU warns of closure of DLTCs in Cape Town

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is dismayed at the total disregard for the health and safety of workers and residents by the City of Cape Town management. This after employees brought to our attention the failure of the Traffic Department to fully comply with COVID-19 regulations. This failure has resulted in an increase in registered positive cases in municipal workers with 17 positive cases confirmed in Drivers License Testing Centers (DLTCs) alone.

In anticipation of the country moving to level 3, city management decided to recall the entire staff compliment in clear violation of the regulations which stated that workers should return to the workplace in a staggered approach which would result in rotational working hours, this with the intention of maintaining social distancing in the workplace.

When recalling workers, the City did not take into account provisions in the regulations regarding employees who are over the age of 60 and those with comorbidities. These are employees fall under the group which is more susceptible to contracting the virus.

SAMWU demands the that City stops this unfair practice and allow vulnerable staff to work from home where practically possible. If impractical, they must remain on lockdown at home until lockdown is uplifted. We further demand that the City immediately implement a rotational shift system for workers who are currently on duty.

Workers in the Traffic Department come into contact with residents on a daily basis, their work also requires them to have physical contact with residents who are getting their fingerprints and eye tests being when applying for drivers’ licenses.

We are convinced that the City has not put in place adequate measures to protect both residents and employees, particularly given the fact that Cape Town has become the epicenter of this virus outbake while the Western Cape Province accounts for almost 52% of confirmed cases in the country.

We therefore demand that barriers must be erected on all areas where it is required for social distance purpose before staff can continue to work there. The face shields which have been provided by the City are inadequate and of cheap quality which cannot protect workers hence the increase in positive cases within the department. We further demand that employees be provided with better quality face shields which are fit for purpose.

Workers are also at risk of contracting the virus when they have to get in a car and conduct a drivers’ license test with the applicant. The only protection that workers and applicants have is a bottle of sanitizer, with all having to hope and pray that the vehicle had been properly disinfected and that it is safe for all.

We therefore demand that, in the interest of public health, the City should take over disinfecting control of the driving school’s vehicles in order to ensure proper disinfection on all surfaces. In that way cleaning can be guaranteed to the staff that will be entering driving school vehicles since driving schools are not regulated for OHS and Protocols for COVID-19.

The City of Cape Town management has been aware of the issues raised above but they have deliberately chosen to ignore their legal right of ensuring the health and safety of workers. The City also has a legal obligation to ensure that they do not unnecessarily put the lives of residents at risk, an obligation which they have deliberately ignored.

If the City is unable to meet all of the above demands are not met, all DLTCs should be closed until such time that the health and safety of workers, along with that of residents can be guaranteed. Failure to which, municipal workers will refuse to work as they cannot willingly enter a slaughterhouse.

Issued by SAMWU Cape Metro Region

Mikel Khumalo
Regional Secretary
083 265 1519


Archie Hearnes
Provincial Organiser
072 571 1633