South Africa: Gauteng School Employees Allegedly Forced to Eat in Converted Toilet

The Gauteng education department has instituted an inquiry following claims that black employees at an Ekurhuleni school were forced to eat in a converted toilet.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona told News24 that the inquiry could lead to disciplinary action against implicated officials.

The Star reported that about nine employees at Brackenhurst Primary school in Alberton shared a prefabricated toilet and used it as an eating room and change room.

The publication spoke to an official at the school who said five women shared the room with four men.

The official told the publication that the "inhumane" treatment was because they were "black", while their white colleague had access to the administrative block.

It is alleged that the employees have been using the quarters for several years and that it was against the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993.

Section 8 of the act states that the employer is obliged to provide and maintain a workplace that is safe and without risk to the health of their employees.

"We have since identified and allocated a suitable room to be utilised by the employees," Mabona said.

Mabona said the department implored schools to familiarise themselves with OHS policies and to adhere to fair labour practices at all times.

Source: News24

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