Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL conducted an unannounced oversight inspection at the Gauteng Department of Education, Johannesburg East District Offices in Parkmore, Johannesburg.
The offices have been closed for two weeks.
During my visit I found District Officials protesting outside the office over the poor working conditions.
We were informed that a representative of the Department of Labour was present to inspect the building but he was instructed by the Department of Education to leave the site.
Officials at the office say they have been pleading with the department to improve their working conditions but nothing has happened.
The building is dilapidated, the roof is leaking, the floor is wet, fire extinguishers have expired and pose a safety risk as it is a health hazard.
The staircases , kitchen sink cardboards and taps are broken. The ceilings are broken, ablution facilities are dysfunctional with no toilet paper and there are water leakages.
The building is infested with rats and the chemicals used to kill the rats has resulted in some employees getting sick.
See photos here, here, here and here.
There is also severe overcrowding in the offices with 200 employees based at these offices and the environment is not conducive for working.
This clearly indicates that there is a lack of support from head office and that this office is also unable to render services to the schools in the area. More than 139 schools aren’t getting the necessary support due to poor working conditions.
The DA will be meeting with the department later today to demand an explanation as to why the department has not acted on the issues raised by the staff at the Johannesburg East District Offices.
The DA will continue to put pressure on the HOD to ensure that the environment is conducive for workers. Furthermore, we have tabled questions to ascertain why the department is subjecting employees to such unsafe and unhealthy working environment.