South Africa

No air conditioning, no work

No air conditioning, no work

Service delivery was again disrupted, today, at the Durban’s Master of High Court Office.

Workers at the Master’s Office, which is located at Devonshire Place in the CBD, have continued with their sit-in for the fourth consecutive day.

The workers, who are employed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, are disgruntled with their working conditions, in particular, the buildings air conditioning system that was out of order.

There was talk overnight that the owner of the building was arranging for portable air conditioners to be brought in as a solution, but nothing had materialised by Thursday afternoon.

Public seeking the services of the office were again turned away.

Some of the affected services provided by this office include the handling of deceased estates, liquidations, registration of trusts, and the administration of the Guardian's Fund (minors and mentally challenged persons).

According to the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA), the building’s air conditioners have been dysfunctional for about ten years.

Kisten Subbadu of the PSA said: “Just as well the sit-in continued because it was another sweltering day in Durban, which would have made occupying the building extremely uncomfortable”

Subbadu said the humidity index level was extremely high inside the building, which is due mainly to fixed windows panels.

‘It is equally uncomfortable for the scores of people who visit the building for various services,” said Subbadu.

Subbadu vowed that workers would continue with their sit-in until the building was fit for human occupation.

Chrispin Phiri, spokesperson for the department said, they have engaged the Department of Public Works to address the issue.