Nelson Mandela Bay car makers trying to minimise COVID-19 transmission in their companies

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Motor manufacturing companies across the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality say they are working round the clock, to minimise chances of COVID-19 transmission within their companies.

Isuzu in Port Elizabeth says they continue to educate staff members about the virus.

Spokesperson Denis Van Huyssteen says they are enforcing the regulations intensely.

“Depending on the nature of their work, we will continue to have as many of our employees to continue working from home and not allow employees over the age of 60 in the working environment. Employee education is conducted regularly as well as the ongoing monitoring of the adherence to regulations,” he says.

On Monday, activities resumed at the Volkswagen SA plant after workers downed tools last week, alleging that some COVID-19 regulations were being flouted by the company. Some employees, through their unions, expressed fear of the virus and said there is lack of transparency in the company.

Volkswagen confirmed that they held a meeting with Numsa, outlining some of the issues.

VW Spokesperson Andile Dlamini says the issues raised in the meeting had no substance.

Dlamini says, “The issues on safety protocols have no substance. Numsa has been requested to provide the company with substantive information to support these allegations. Furthermore, Numsa was reminded to follow recognised processes to raise its issues with management instead of just embarking on an unprotected strike.”

Numsa Regional Secretary Mziyanda Twani says they have a cause for concern.

“As you may recall we had a strike here on Friday, the main concern is that employees who have been in isolation are requested to come back to work and also employees are not paid the same way. Those who test with the company are paid 100 percent, while those who test privately are expected to use their sick leave, so we are unhappy,” he says.

The Eastern Cape province provides 51% of South Africa’s vehicle exports, and accounts for 6.8% of GDP.

In the video below, VWSA, Numsa meet as workers down tools over coronavirus fears: