Agriculture MEC Vusi Shongwe has visited state-owned farms in the Mpumalanga province to see whether farm-workers are adhering to safety rules put up by government in the battle to contain the spread of the Corona Virus (Covid-19).
Shongwe said he discovered most workers were not “thoroughly informed about the dangers posed by the virus”.
Shongwe visited the farms in the Gert Sibande district on 1 April 2020.
He called on workers to take seriously the dangers of the ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus (SARS-CoV2)’ by applying safety measures to ensure their own safety.
His department has now supplied the workers with gloves, masks and sanitisers while encouraged to regularly wash their hands.
He was accompanied by seniors from his department who informed the workers about steps they need to take when protecting themselves against the possible spread of the virus.
“You must wear these gloves,” said Shongwe.
“You must cover your mouths with these masks, and wash your hands regularly. Always when you working among yourselves keep at least a meter away from each other,” Shongwe told the workers.
He said the gloves, masks and sanitisers will last the workers until the lockdown period comes to an end.
Shongwe’s department is classified as “essential service”, being responsible for the production of food.
“It is our duty to produce and feed the nation,” he said.
“Production in farms cannot stop but we must be safe as we produce food for communities,” he said.
He also urged farm-owners to always ensure their workers were safe from Covid-19.
“We should not underestimate the dangers posed by this virus, should workers get infected it could also affect the very same products they are working on. The safety of workers in farms should be a priority to all of us,” he said.
He said he would make unannounced visits to other farms to inspect adherence to government imposed safety measures.
(edited by ZK)
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