Fruit worker may have contracted Covid-19 after attending Khayelitsha funeral

22 April 2020 by Odwa Mkentane

Cape Town – A Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) employee may have contracted Covid-19 after recently attending a funeral in Khayelitsha.

CFG spokesperson Christo Rensburg said a seasonal worker, employed as a packer in one of their pack houses in Ceres, tested positive for Covid-19 on April 14.

“She was immediately placed in isolation under guidance and supervision of the Department of Health for the Cape Winelands District.

“According to the department, she attended a funeral in Khayelitsha and might have contracted the virus there. Her last active day at work was April 7. 

“The department immediately commenced with Covid-19 screenings and tests of CFG employees on April 14. This process is still continuing,” Rensburg said.

“CFG has engaged with the department on a daily basis and we will continue to partner, assist and seek guidance from the department in the continued management of the situation. 

“We have intensified all hygienic practices and precautionary measures in collaboration with the department,” Rensburg added.

An employee, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, said after the woman tested positive for Covid-19 she continued working and was later placed in isolation.

“She continued working even though she was tested positive for the virus at a local clinic. The superiors were aware of such matters but they chose to ignore it as if nothing happened. 

“It was only after she was starting to be seriously sick that she was isolated from the workers.

“My worry is that we work with apples and the disease spreads by touching and coughing. The company wants nothing but a profit but is not concerned about our health and that of our family.”

The employee said workers were provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) last week.

Rensburg said workers were provided with PPE as prescribed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act as well as regulations promulgated by the president.

“Full inspections and engagement by delegations from the SAPS, Department of Labour and Human Rights Commission took place on the premises. 

“The various delegations were afforded the opportunity to inspect and monitor our adherence to the Covid-19 regulations. 

“The delegations were satisfied with the extra precautionary measures and practices that we have implemented,” he said.

Source: IOL at