Hisense has invested heavily in its South African operations, where it manufactures TV sets for the local market and abroad. The Hisense TV and appliance factory in Atlantis, outside of Cape Town, has been shut down for ignoring COVID-19 rules and regulations.
The Western Cape’s Department of Employment and Labour conducted a routine inspection on July 22nd. It found that the Chinese electronics and appliance manufacturer had been in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which left no choice other than an immediate shutdown.
“Prohibition notices essentially means that no work may take place at the premises where the notice was served,” the department stated. “The Department had no option but to close the entire plant due to non-compliances.”
Unfortunately for the community in Atlantis and surrounds, this could have a knock-on effect. Hisense is one of the major sources of jobs for the area, which could now be under threat if the closure isn’t overturned soon. Hisense employs about 400 people in the area.
“As part of reversing the prohibition notice, the employer must provide evidence that processes have been put in place to address all the concerns raised,” said David Esau, the Provincial Chief Inspector.
The investigators found a group of Chinese workers that were working in very close proximity, neglecting the social distancing rules put in place by government. There was even a boardroom used as living quarters, further contradiction of these rules. It also led to some ventilation protocols not being adhered to.
Once Hisense has confirmed that these issues have been addressed, occupational health and safety inspectors will conduct another investigation to confirm that these minimum requirements are adhered to before allowing the factory to reopen.
Hopefully it is done sooner rather than later, for everyone involved.