GEORGE NEWS - Concern over the working conditions of the security guards at the Garden Route Dam were recently raised by a local resident and avid hiker, who believes authorities should provide better facilities for the employees.
P-J Hannabus, leader of a local hiking group, took pity on the guards a few years ago and donated a stool, a kettle and some light bulbs so that the staff can make coffee and read a book at night while they work a 12-hour shift. These were all lost when the security hut at the front entrance to the dam burned down in October last year, in an incident unrelated to the concurrent George fires. According to information a guard was badly burned in the incident.
New hut for the new year
On a positive note, the security guards have a brand new hut to look forward to, which will be provided by District Law Enforcement, the service provider at the time, whose contract lapsed on 31 December last year. Bamogale Service Solutions is providing the security at present. According to Athane Scholtz, media liaison officer of George Municipality, District Law Enforcement has already ordered a new hut to replace the insufficiently sized temporary hut which was erected after the incident.
Hannabus, who was most concerned when he saw the staff sitting in the open under an umbrella after their hut burned down, welcomed this news. "I am very glad to hear this, I am worried about the safety of these people and the conditions under which they work."
Meanwhile all the broken toilets have been replaced by Sanitech, the service provider, who also promised to remove a broken toilet previously used by the public near the dam wall.
According to the Director of Protection Services, Steven Erasmus, baboons have moved down from their own burnt habitat after the George fires and damaged the mobile sanitation units.
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