Lawyers for Human Rights want waste reclaimers to continue working
Lawyers for Human Rights will be approaching the courts on Tuesday in a bid to have waste reclaimers be declared essential service workers and that they be allowed to continue working during the COVID-19 national lockdown period.
The organisation says it has sent a letter of demand to the City of Tshwane with no response.
Lawyers for Human Rights legal representative Thandeka Chauke says waste removal is one of the designated essential services in terms of the regulations.
In accordance to that, they should also be allowed to sign their own permits because currently the permit that is provided in the regulations needs to be signed by the head of an institution and you need to be a worker of an institution. Most of them are self-employed, they don't belong to any sort of institution so there is no other way they can be authorised to be on the roads.Thandeka Chauke, Legal representative - Lawyers for Human Rights
Hand in hand with them being allowed to work is the issue of them being provided with protective equipment and protective gear.Thandeka Chauke, Legal representative - Lawyers for Human Rights
It is quite a large number of people that are affected, they are already vulnerable people that have been put in a worse off position because they have now been deprived of the little income they had before this whole crisis hit.Thandeka Chauke, Legal representative - Lawyers for Human Rights
The organisation is also is looking at the issue of foreign-owned spaza shop owners who are not allowed to trade during this time.
She says stories have been coming in about the lack of consistency in applying the regulations in provinces.
You find that in certain provinces foreign-owned spaza shops are allowed to operate while in certain provinces they are not and even those that are allowed are subjected to very strict requirements - somehow very arbitrary and ad hoc but my colleagues are still working on that particular issue.Thandeka Chauke, Legal representative - Lawyers for Human Rights
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