The Robben Island Museum (RIM) is one of the top World Heritage Sites on the globe, and is usually busy in December. This year, however, the employees of the attraction have raised concerns for their health and safety, as two workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
As reported by IOL, RIM ferries are operating at 70% capacity. A 62-year-old tour guide, however, has noted that the number of tourists are increasing while the number of employees remain the same.
“Sometimes we would be three people and the visitors to the Island would be 180 or 200. Some of us are old and can be infected easily, so we don’t understand why the numbers were increased. As prison tour guards, we share the same concerns with the ferry workers. We found out about the two cases on Sunday when the one o’clock tour was cancelled,” the guide said.
According to Morongoa Ramaboa, RIM spokesperson, the safety of both employees and visitors is of top priority.
“RIM has a COVID-19 response plan in line with the National Command Council (NCC), the World Health Organisation and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, as well as the risk adjusted strategy as advised by the National Government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “Currently, legislation allows us to operate at 100% and we operate the vessels at 70% capacity for all tours.”
She added that RIM was made aware of the two employees’ diagnoses when they reported it.
“As an additional measure and as part of RIM’s COVID-19 response plan, RIM’s ferry, Krotoa, was decontaminated in the interest of visitor and employee safety once RIM received reports from the affected employees,” Ramaboa said.
“Therefore all reported cases, internal or external, follow a stringent reporting and tracing process, in line with recommendations by the NCC and the Department of Employment and Labour. RIM is unable to provide more details on the matter at this stage for employee confidentiality purposes.”