Failure to enforce Covid-19 rules at work is a criminal offence – Nxesi

Johannesburg – Failure to take the necessary measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 may result in criminal prosecution, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Sunday.

Nxesi was on Sunday briefing the country on back to work readiness ahead of the first working day on Level 4 lockdown since President Cyril Ramaphosa eased South Africa coronavirus lockdown regulations.

A back-to-work direction (regulation) has now been gazetted which seeks to ensure that the measures taken by employers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS) were consistent with the overall national policies and strategies aimed at minimising the spread of coronavirus.

Among other things, the direction compels employers to conduct a risk assessment review of the workplace and production of a plan, implementation of hygiene and protective measures for all those present in their premises, including taking responsibility for providing protective gear to employees.