Justice department concerned about people walking in sewage to get to work

30 May 2019 - 15:24 By ernest mabuza
The justice department says it has arranged a meeting with the owner of a building housing the state attorney in the Johannesburg CBD, which a union has described as a health hazard.
The justice department says it has arranged a meeting with the owner of a building housing the state attorney in the Johannesburg CBD, which a union has described as a health hazard.
Image: phanuwatnandee / 123RF Stock Photo

The department of justice says it has arranged an urgent meeting with the landlord of the building which is occupied by the state attorney's office in Johannesburg to ensure that the hazardous conditions in the building are addressed.

The response by the department on Thursday followed a warning by the Public Servants' Association on Wednesday that it would take legal action against the government should it continue failing to upgrade buildings to required standards.

The union, representing more than 240,000 members in the public sector, said there was a leak of raw sewage in the building. Employees had to park their cars in sewage and walk through it to enter the building.

"The entire building reeks of sewage. One union member's car was covered in raw sewage when yet another pipe burst."

The union said it had, over the past year, notified the department of justice about the problems in the building, without any response.

In its response on Thursday, the department said it was aware of the conditions at the Johannesburg state attorney’s office and was treating the matter with the utmost seriousness and urgency.

"We have organised an urgent meeting with the landlord and the department of public works to ensure that this issue is addressed as speedily as possible. The department will be able to communicate further interventions in due course," spokesperson Steve Mahlangu said.


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