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Health department to challenge building closure

PRETORIA – The Health Department plans to challenge a prohibition order against its building in Pretoria.

The Civitas Building doesn’t comply with occupational health and safety standards and can’t be occupied.

The National Health Department headquarters has been closed until further notice by the Department of Labour.

READ: Another government building declared unsafe 

According to the order, the Civitas Building has poor ventilation, some walls are covered in fungi and the carpets have been flooded, posing a serious health risk.

The sprinklers for the fire extinguishers are also not functional.

For the past six months, employees have been gathering at the reception area, refusing to work in an unsafe environment.

But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears as they continued to get sick.

READ: Workers down tools at health department head office in Pretoria

The effects of the closure of the building are already being felt by the public.

The letter to employees has no timeframes on when the issues will be resolved or when they’re expected back at work.

The labour department says the prohibition order will remain until the health department gets its house in order.

It is only after another inspection that the order can be reviewed.