COSATU calls for risk allowance to essential public service workers

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has called on government to implement a risk allowance for all essential service workers in the public sector during the battle against the coronavirus.

On Friday, COSATU picketed outside Treasury’s office in KwaZulu- Natal to demand the allowance and for government to adhere to an agreement on package increments for workers.

COSATU Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says government must show some appreciation for workers who put themselves on the frontline and not only risk their lives but those of their immediate families.

“Currently we have something called danger allowance, which is received by police officers, correctional officers, psychiatric nurses and others but the risk allowance that we are proposing is a risk allowance that will apply to all those workers who are essential workers in the fight against COVID-19 who are exposed and who are really doing their best to make sure that we win the fight against the virus. Let us have a conversation about how much can government afford. Many of them are contracting the virus and many of them take this to their own homes,” says Pamla.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in South Africa has increased to 177 124, after the country reported 9 063 new cases since Thursday, the Department of Health said on Friday.

In a statement, the Department has also reported a further 108 COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total deaths to 2 952.

The number of recoveries is 86 298, which translates to a recovery rate of 48.7%.  A total number of 1 745 153 tests have been completed.