gautengNews24 reports that staff at the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta abandoned their posts amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).  

Several staffers at the provincial government's Fox Street offices claimed that they have been without cleaning and security staff for two weeks, and that no protective measures have been put in place to combat the spread of the virus.  On Tuesday, employees downed tools and opted to go home instead of working in an uncomfortable and unsafe environment.  One employee of the department complained about feeling "vulnerable" without a clean environment and a lack of security:  "A few weeks ago, there was a community here protesting. We had no protection. Now with the corona[virus], we are dealing with people day to day and nothing has been done to prevent us from getting infected."  Apparently, contracts for cleaners and security workers were not renewed.  Chief director of communications at human settlements, Tahir Sema, confirmed that "serious grievances" were raised on Tuesday morning, with employees opting to down tools and go home.  "The department is working to put measures in place as soon as possible to ensure that our workplaces are properly sanitised to protect staff and members of the public," said Sema.

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