Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) have put together a number of workplace readiness tools to help businesses that are reopening to put in place the necessary occupational health and safety provisions to enable a safe Return2Work. The following documents has reference:
- Workplace readiness practice note – provides minimum practice guidelines for all employers to resume operations safely and minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission to workers.Practice Note – Workplace readiness_30April2020 (clean, links to come)
- CEO declaration template – confirmation that the employer has completed the required procedures and planning processes to safely resume operations at level 4 lockdown.CEO Declaration Template_30April_vf
- Risk assessment and management tool – a planning tool to aid a company to assess their COVID-19 related risks (tab 1) and then put in place plans and controls to mitigate those risks (tab 2). Note that this should be done with the workplace occupational health and safety committee, if applicable. R2W Risk Assessment & Management Tool_vf
- Risk adjusted strategy regulations – as issued last night, note in particular page 15 and Annexure E that have been included in the practice note and CEO declaration. Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations 29 April 2020
Note, these documents seek to incorporate all the relevant official requirements, but do not replace the law. If a business has already assessed its occupational health and safety risks and put in place a plan, the business need not use these tools. The material is provided for guidance in the absence of the business having a process and plan in place; or as an additional reference to ensure that all important risk factors and control measures are considered. It is important to remind all businesses to keep their occupational health and safety records, and risk management approach available in the event that it is required for reporting or compliance purposes.
These documents will be available for download this evening on the following Return2Work website at: https://www.return2work.co.za/ together with official reference documents and resources. We will add further useful links to resources over the coming days and weeks. Note that the sector planning tool is already loaded and available on the website.
The MBA North have been identified as one of the key stakeholders within the Construction Sector with respect to health and safety. The Chief Inspector of Occupational Health and Safety is in the process of promulgating Sector Guidelines in accordance with the Covid-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces Directive (C19 OHS) Clause 45. See the link to the word Draft Construction Sectoral Guidelines document for ease of reference.
Please see the link to a self-explanatory letter from the Director of Construction, Explosives and MHI Directorate requesting comments/suggestions/recommendations on the draft construction sector guidelines.
Please add comments to the template ANNEXURE A for feedback.
The deadline for comments to Ashleigh is Wednesday, 6th May 2020 by 14h00. email@example.com
Herewith the following updated directives and documents circulated :
- Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations – Government Notice Department of Cooperative Governance – Disaster Management Act 2002 – Signed 2020.04.29 Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations 29 April 2020 (002)
- Final OHS Covid19 Directive -Government Notice Department of Employment and Labour – COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in the Workplaces COVID-19 (C19) OHS – Signed 2020.04.2 Final OHS Covis19 Directive 28 APRIL 2020
- Return to work Management Process RETURN TO WORK MANAGEMENT PROCESS
The national coronavirus-related lockdown has put many companies into financial distress, but recent notices from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) are delaying the business rescue process and in fact fall to be set aside on review, according to law firm Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc.
Many industries including construction, building and civil engineering were already in poor financial shape by the start of 2020, and the sudden lockdown has pushed hundreds of businesses over the edge. Sectors like tourism and hospitality have also seen trading halt almost completely, putting thousands of small enterprises at risk and needing to look to business rescue as a possible means of survival.
“The CIPC wants to suspend and extend certain time periods relating to voluntary business rescue until after the lockdown ends, but it is actually not legally entitled to do that,” says Gavin Schär, director at Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc. “The timeframes are stipulated within the Companies Act, and with good reason; companies affected negatively by the lockdown need to act quickly and without delay when applying for business rescue.”
The notices state that business rescue applications that were lodged at the CIPC before the national lockdown but which were not completed at the time of the lockdown may not be completed until after the national lockdown has ended. Neither may any new proceedings be started until after the lockdown.
“In our view, the CIPC acted ultra vires in publishing the notices as it lacks the authority to extend or suspend the time periods contemplated in section 129 of the Act,” Schär says. “Under these circumstances, the notices are unlawful and fall to be set aside on review.”
Schär says that section 129 of the Companies Act clearly sets out the process for commencing voluntary business rescue. This includes the resolution by the board of a company to be placed into voluntary business rescue to be filed with the CIPC and also to the appointment of a business rescue practitioner within five days thereof – of which the CIPC must be notified within two days. These filings may be done by email, and do not require the physical delivery of hard-copy documents, he says.
“Section 223 of the Act states that only the Minister of Trade and Industry, in consultation with the CIPC and by notice in the Gazette, may make regulations concerning the functions of the CIPC, including those relating to the time periods,” he says. “The authority of the CIPC to issue regulations and policy directives does not extend to any time periods that are already set out in the Act.”
Referring to the special regulations related to the lockdown, section 27 of the Disaster Management Act (DMA) allows the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to make regulations or issue directives to address a disaster – which was done in March and April. Regulation 10 to the DMA makes provision for the Minister of Trade and Industry to issue regulations and directives.
“However, the Minister of Trade and Industry has not issued any regulations or directives relating to the operation of the CIPC during the national lockdown,” he says. “In our view, despite the notices from the CIPC, companies who want to be placed into business rescue are entitled, during the national lockdown, to proceed to file the necessary section 129 documentation via email with the CIPC. The CIPC may not refuse to accept any documents which are filed in this manner.”
Schär warns that unfortunately it may now be necessary for companies wanting to apply for business rescue to launch an urgent application to Court to set aside the notices.
“A company that is financially distressed because of the temporary national lockdown is a prime candidate for business rescue and must act without delay in applying for business rescue if it wants to increase its chances of being rescued and precisely the type of company that the business rescue provisions are aimed at,” he says. “With the CIPC notices effectively depriving companies of this lifeline at present, we are of the view that there is a legitimate basis to urgently apply to court on an urgent basis to set aside the notices.”
|Construction Industry Update:|
The government has developed a strategy for the country, provinces, districts and metros to be classified on a 5-level risk scale. Level One being low risk to level five being the highest risk level. These levels will determine the restrictions in place at any given time.
According to the draft strategy, the Commercial construction industry is classified at risk “LEVEL 3”. While residential construction is classified at risk ‘’LEVEL 2’’
From 1 May 2020, the overall country risk level will be moved from level 5 (hard lockdown) to “LEVEL 4”.
The Construction industry will therefore for now NOT resume on 1 May 2020 as previously hoped.
As we stand at the moment, the industry start-up will be at “LEVEL 3” and it is unclear when this will occur. See attached document: ‘’permitted good and services movement..’’
We will keep you informed of any changes following our submission below and the way forward.
That said, in response to Government’s call for comments (confined to Level 4) pertaining to the proposed five-phase strategy to end the national lockdown, MBA North members were requested to forward their input to the Association to allow for a collective submission on behalf of the membership by Master Builders South Africa to move Commercial Construction from Level 3 to level 4.
We thank our members for comments received. In order to cover a wider submission, the Association included its input with the submission made on behalf of the industry, by the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team attached (Comment on the Proposed…).
We remain focused on our members’ immediate needs and remain available to support members in respect of Labour Relations, Health & Safety, Training and Contractual matters.
Please keep following us on Email and on our Website and LinkedIn accounts.
The Information Centre, a key section of The Concrete Institute (TCI) in Midrand, is continuing to add to its unique collection of reference material relating to cement and concrete – the largest collection of its kind in Africa.
Established in 1957, the TCI Information Centre operates as a public concrete technology library and is accessible to anyone in South Africa interested in or needing information on concrete topics. It has over the years become an essential destination – both personally or online – for thousands of students as well as practitioners in the concrete and related industries.
The Centre has a vast collection of well over 140 000 concrete-related reference material, including e-documents, books, and journals from across the globe.
Susan Battison, manager of the TCI Information Centre, says the collection includes the latest published American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards relating to cement and concrete, adding to the Information Centre’s collection of South African and British standards.
“The collection of conference proceedings, which are indexed fully on our online catalogue, has also grown and now includes papers on super-absorbent polymers and the rheology of construction materials. Information on construction techniques in precast and 3D printing have also been acquired while South African research by Prof Mitchell Gohnert, of Wits University, on shell structures has also been added.
“The assessment, repair and rehabilitation of concrete structures are also key additions to the collection and augments our material on the sustainability and durability aspects of concrete infrastructure. The publications of international organisations such as the International Union of Testing and Research Laboratories for Materials and Structures (RILEM) and the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib) are also stocked,” Battison states.
The TCI Information Centre indexes all the journals it receives and provides a monthly list of current contents which can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Subscribe current contents”.
“Despite revolutionary changes in information technology over the past 63 years, the Information Centre collection has kept pace with the latest trends in information dissemination and remains a valuable resource on cement and concrete information that contributes to the development of sustainable and durable South African infrastructure,” she adds.
The TCI online catalogue is available at http://www.cciinformationcentre.org/ActiveConnect2002/default.html.