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Source: South Africa News Agency

An electrical fault which partly burnt the Thohoyandou Labour Centre in Vhembe District, Limpopo, on Tuesday, has led to the closure of the building.

Department of Employment and Labour’s Chief Director for Provincial Operations, Johannah Machaba said that inspectors closed the labour centre following a complaint by employees about the fault which included flying sparks, the smell of burning cables, overloading of the electrical fire that resulted in the burning of some parts of the building.

“Inspectors closed the building because it contravened the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993 as the electrical fault posed immediate danger to both the staff and clients,” Machaba said.

The department has since put the following measures in place:

  • The inspectorate officials will work from home but continue conducting inspections;
  • Other officials will report to the nearest labour centres; and
  • Public Employment Services officials will continue working from home.

Machaba said that the closure has prompted the department to seek alternative accommodation.

Until then, clients are advised to use alternative labour centres in Malamulele, which is approximately 30 kilometres away or Makhado which is also approximately 80 kilometres away.

Machaba said that the provincial office is also investigating setting up a mobile office, while the source of the electrical fault is being investigated and addressed.

“As a department, we would like to apologise for the inconvenience the closure will cause to our clients. But we appeal for their understanding because we would not want them to be placed in danger until we have finalised and sorted out the electrical problem. While this temporary arrangement will negatively impact service delivery, the health and safety of our clients is a priority,” she said.

Machaba added that the closure of the office comes during a difficult time for the nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “Limpopo is a rural province and most of our clients are not technology savvy, but I am encouraging those who have access to utilise our online services until the matter is resolved,” she said. –

MIL OSI Africa