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Labour Court postpones safety dispute between PSA & govt

The Public Servants Association has taken the Departments of Health and Public Works to court over a Pretoria building, claiming it fails to meet minimum safety standards.

FILE: Firefighters stand in front of the Bank of Lisbon building where 3 of their colleagues died while trying to extinguish a fire. A memorial service was held for the firefighters on 12 September 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The safety dispute between the Public Servants Association (PSA) and the government has been postponed in the Labour Court until October.

The union has taken the Departments of Health and Public Works to court over a Pretoria building, claiming it fails to meet minimum safety standards.

PSA members are now refusing to work in that building and have allegedly been threatened with dismissals if they continue to stay away.

On Friday, the court requested the parties to motivate why the matter should be heard in the Labour Court before arguments are made.

PSA deputy general manager Tahir Maepa said: “We had already looked at that aspect. We are confident that the Labour Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter because this matter has to do with the interest of workers.”

The issue of unsafe government buildings has been brought into the spotlight recently after three firefighters died battling a blaze at a government building in the Johannesburg CBD earlier in September.

It emerged that government officials were made aware that the building was unsafe.

VIDEO: 3 firefighters die in Johannesburg CBD fire

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)