National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) second deputy president Nyameka Macanda paid Ikhala Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College a visit in Ezibeleni on Tuesday.
She was here to monitor the state of readiness of the institution to see if compliance with Covid-9 regulatory measures were in place ahead of the college reopening.
Macanda’s visit formed part of the union’s campaign to protect workers against Covid-19 infections. The rest of the national executive members were also making rounds to higher learning institutions across the country.
With this campaign Nehawu aims to ensure that health and safety measures are guaranteed for employees with the intention to hold negligent employers who place workers at high risk of virus contraction, responsible.
Macanda said: “We are here to assess the state of readiness of TVET colleges to see if they are complying with Covid-19 regulations.
“We may be in level one but the lockdown still prevails. Nehawu wants to ensure that its affiliated workers and tertiary students operate in a safe working environment.
There are challenges where some of the employers are not complying by failing to provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE),” she said.
Macanda began her day with an internal briefing with the college management team who issued a report of the college’s standing in containing the Covid-19 spread.
“Ikhala’s management informed us about the current standing concerning the rules and regulations of Covid-19. We were informed that staff members were given PPE. The students will be supplied with face-masks and hand sanitisers when classes begin.”
The management informed her that the number of students per class was reduced from 30 to 15 to accommodate social distancing.
This will mean that more classes will have to be added.
Nocanda added: “The management also informed us that students were issued with E-learning gadgets – an alternative to assist with the learning process where they will be allowed to interact with their lecturers online.”
Matthew Goniwe regional deputy secretary Sibusiso Kamte said: “We heard from the college management, but we want to hear from employees because some of the issues may not have been raised through management.
Kamte confirmed that the college did have an occupational and safety committee in place, but the issue was that it was not formed according to the act. He added that this was a common trend in most institutions.
He added that when the tertiary visits are concluded a report would be issued to the minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande to address the union’s issues on precautionary measures against Covid-19 in institutions.