Investigations are underway after more than 2000 litres of diesel leaked from a back-up generator in the Auckland Park building during load shedding on Wednesday.
SABC staff at Radio Park had to be evacuated after a diesel leak. Three employees were hospitalised after inhaling diesel fumes. Two have since been discharged.
The gravity of the situation prompted a site inspection by the Finance Minister. Mboweni says such an incident is of great concern.
“We got briefing about what has happened to the building because there might be cost implications for which we do not have money. But I am very pleased that people are safe and I wish one of your colleagues who is in ICU a quick recovery. This goes to emphasise our concern as shareholders. Things must go back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Unions react to the diesel spillage
Trade union, Bemawu, which represents many workers at the SABC, is demanding a full investigation into the major diesel spillage at the public broadcaster. Bemawu Spokesperson, Hannes du Buisson says the SABC has not done enough to ensure the safety of their buildings and staff.
Bemawu says it has written a letter to SABC CEO, Madoda Mxakwe requesting that he refers the matter of a diesel spillage in the building to the Labour Department.
Radio park staff have been told to stay home for the rest of this week, while clean-up operations continue.
The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has expressed ‘shock and disappointment’ regarding a diesel spill. Secretary general Aubrey Tshabalala says, “We are actually shocked because it shows that the safety of workers is not taken seriously. You can’t then save cost at the expense of the health and the safety of workers in general, but also raise issue around the SOEs and government buildings. Last year we had a bank where 3 people died and it’s the same here where 3 people almost died. So those are indications that the life of workers is not taken into consideration.”
The Communication Workers’ Union of South Africa’s Secretary General Aubrey Tshabalala explains: