Ulundi Local Municipality to test 400 employees for COVID-19

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Ulundi Local Municipal Council resolved to fund the test of all 400 employees and councillors at the advice of its Municipal Manager, Mr Nkosenye Zulu.

The above municipal council on 17 June 2020, responding to a revelation regarding 19 COVID 19 cases at its neighbouring municipality of Umthonjaneni, has on even date resolved to subject all its Councillors and officials to COVID 19 testing.

According to a Municipal Manager of Ulundi, Mr Nkosenye Zulu, on 4 May 2020 upon resumption of the workplace after the promulgation of relevant Regulations by the National Minister for Cogta promulgated on 29 April 2020, in which all municipal essential services employees had to report for duty, the Department of Health upon request conducted screening and testing of those handpicked to resume duties. “However to my utter dismay not even those results are out yet, more than a month later. Therefore it’s only logical that rather than re-testing only those who were tested by health in vain on 4 May 2020, Council be advised to secure a reliable testing service through Lancet directly”.

Mr Zulu who also chairs the local COVID 19 JOC also raised a concern that the initiative sought through testing when employees resumed office is already lost owing to non-available results that could have provided early warnings and urgent evasive actions by this municipality. What remains now is that all employees and officials, inclusive of those with co-comorbidities and those over 60 years present themselves on Friday, 19 June 2020 for private testing.”

The Mayor of this municipality who will along with 46 other councillors test on the above date, has also voiced his concern about what he termed as a grey area regarding the general screening and testing protocol by the department of Health. The Mayor said his view is that the “happening at Mthonjaneni Municipality suggests that the economical non-testing within communities of every person who convinces the DoH medical staff through screening that once they pass the health questions and their answers are that they have never left a place of abode in order to avoid testing leads to a misnomer in terms of the correct COVID 19 cases in an area. However, it is understood that due to financial or other considerations not everyone can be tested”. The Mayor thus welcomes a safe-is-better-than sorry approach to protect the most valuable asset in an organisation, although R850 per person is costly, its personnel. As this will also save the public that is served.

The leadership of this municipality then calls on every councillor and employee to present themselves for testing on Friday, 19 June 2020. And assures everyone that during this testing all health-related protocols will be observed, including the non-disclosure of the individual results.

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