Acting Chief Director Provincial Operations, Phaswane Tladi, said that it was discovered that a section occupied by the department is non-compliant with the requirements of the following OHS Regulations: Facilities regulations 9, which deals with sanitation facility maintenance.
"It is unfortunate that the building had to be closed during a time when clients require services. However, the health and safety of both employees and customers is a top priority. Inspectors are responsible for preventing any fatalities that may result from such incidents," Tladi said.
Tladi stated said the department must set a good example, so that others can see that the inspectorate is serious about compliance.
“The inspectorate unit's services are unaffected by the closure because inspections are conducted on the field.
“At the provincial office, the processing unit will continue to process applications. Staff will be available outside the office from 7.30am to 10.00am to collect payment forms from clients who have already applied to ensure that payments continue,” Tladi said.
The Acting Chief Director said the building will be closed until the landlord resolves the problem.
The department has apologised for the inconvenience caused by the closure. However, clients can still access services online at www.labour.gov.za or visit the nearest Labour Office in Malamulele.
Meanwhile, another OHS Inspector closed the Department of Education building in Polokwane on 12 September 2022, as they did not have a certificate of compliance.
It was also found that electrical wires were not covered, housekeeping was not conducive for working and fire extinguishers were blocked, which may result in fatalities should there be a fire.
“A forklift found on the premises was prohibited from being used, as it has never been tested and is operated by officials who were never trained. It was later discovered that employees of the said department violated the prohibition order and have been recommended for prosecution.
“The building will remain closed until the Department of Education rectifies the issue. Subsequent to that, OHS inspectors will do a follow-up inspection to uplift the prohibition,” the department said.