An Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspector at the Department of Labour has closed a school following a proactive inspection that took place on Friday at Sigonde Primary School in Musina, Limpopo.
In a statement on Monday, the department said the school was found not to be compliant with the OHS Act 85 of 1993 as amended.
The Act specifies that if the state of the building threatens or is likely to threaten the health and/or safety of persons then the building should be prohibited with immediate effect from being occupied or continued used in terms of section 30 of the above said Act.
The inspector prohibited the school based on the following:
- The Grade 4 class had cracks at the door post which overlaps the Grade 5 class.
- Grade R, 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 classes had bats on the classroom roofs which posed a danger to the health and safety of persons and may cause sickness, diseases and possible death.
- When conducting the administration inspection, the inspector learned that on Tuesday, 24 May 2022, 50 learners were absent from school as they reported sick due to the infestation resulting from the bats.
- Educators alleged that snakes are killed on a weekly basis as they are attracted by the bats in the classrooms.
The department said that a mobile classroom utilised by the Grade 2 learners is the only class that is still functioning therefore the school will remain closed until corrections are made.
Acting Provincial Inspector Reckson Tshitshivheli said that health and safety is part of the department’s business, and they do not leave anything to chance.
He said that employers must make sure that at any given time they comply with OHS legislation.
“When they are not sure they must call on us for advocacy so we can assist them to get their house in order. Inspections are our day to day business and when we come across any life threatening situations we will unfortunately have to close the building.
“We commend our inspectors who do not compromise the health and safety of persons and encourage them to continue to do their jobs to mitigate non-compliance,” Tshitshivheli said.