More unsafe government buildings exposed

The Civitas Building in Pretoria is being evacuated for serious breaches of fire and emergency regulations.

eNCA

PRETORIA - Pressure is mounting on the government to attend to unsafe buildings as two more buildings, in Pretoria, come under fire for non-compliance with safety regulations.

Mayor Solly Msimanga stood up to criticism from Justice Minister Michael Masutha over his decision to shut down Correctional Services’ head office for failing to comply with safety regulations. 

READ: Animosity building over prison's building closure

A few streets away, public servants at the National Health Department are refusing to work in a building they claim is a danger to their lives.

The Department of Correctional Services building has 32 storeys and more than 1000 occupants but does not have any firefighting water, smoke detectors or alarms. 

Correctional Services staff members have been moved from the building to Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre as temporary accommodation.

Health Department workers have called the conditions they're working under "inhumane". 

READ: Workers down tools at health department head office in Pretoria

They've resorted to prayer for assistance, saying they cannot breathe in the building.
 
The department says the matter is before the courts 

Popo Maja, National Health Department spokesperson, said the concerns of the employees are legitimate but they need to wait for the court process to conclude.

READ: Public rattled by unsafe Joburg building evacuations 

Two weeks ago there were two separate incidents of arson on the 14th floor and in the basement of the Civitas building.
 
The union Nehawu has filed for a declaratory order from the labour courts to protect public servants from working in dangerous conditions.

The Labour Department says employers and workers should report unsafe working conditions.

The Department's Chief Labour Inspector, Tibor Szana responded to worker's complaints by saying, "my understanding with regards to what took place there was that there was a complaint that was lodged with the department of labour... that issue was dealt with."

There is mounting pressure on government to attend to unsafe buildings as more workers are evacuated from buildings non-complaint with fire and safety regulations.