Western Cape human settlements construction to recommence
Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says, all projects, in accordance with level 4 lockdown regulations, will recommence with immediate effect.
It is critical to note that as per the draft framework, which details the staggered lifting of lockdown restrictions under level 4, this only refers to “civil engineering for public works projects (including water, energy and sanitation) and critical public works construction, including other public works civil engineering projects,” and not the entire construction sector.
Simmers said: “To ensure contractors adhere to all health and safety protocols, we’ve issued a directive as to what needs to be in place, prior to employees returning to site, as their safety and protection is paramount during this period.”
The following regulations and legislation are applicable:
- Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85/1993)
- Construction Regulations 2014
- Disaster Management Act, 2002
- Regulations issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002
The onus is placed on the employer or owner of the construction company to adhere to the following:
- Ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all staff, contractors and sub-contractors to enable
- social distancing;
- the provision of sanitizers/hand wash facilities, PPE, symptoms screening on site;
- record-keeping and
- housekeeping and cleaning of workspace.
- Ensure that measures are in place to deal with employees who display symptoms.
- Ensure that transportation of employees adhere to the health and safety requirements.
- Ensure that measures are in place to address mental health and wellbeing of employees.
A checklist has been provided to assist the construction industry to adhere to the regulatory and legislative requirements.
Minister Simmers added: “Although we’ve not received formal confirmation from the National Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, since writing to her on 29 April, we’ve received communication from the national Acting-Director-General, Mr. Neville Chainee, indicating that “public housing programmes fall within the categorisation of public works, civil and construction works.”
We fully agree with Acting Director-General’s view and this forms part of the reason why we’re resuming with construction on our sites.
This return will now allow us to swiftly, as part of our Rapid Informal Settlement Support and Upgrade Programme (RISSUP), complete the erection of our Transitional Residential Units (TRU’s) in the Permanent Residential Areas (PRA’s). These PRA’s will be established on pieces of land in DuNoon and the Greater Kosovo areas, so that the informal settlements in these areas can be re-blocked.
We’re also in a better position to conclude critical work on some of our units that are close to completion. This will mean that those who are so desperately in need of a housing opportunity and that’s patiently been waiting, will be afforded the opportunity to move into their brand-new homes.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”