Mr. Stephan SGBs own safety officer was present and he too intimidated everyone, firing questions and demanding those who were responsible to give answers. Neither of them spoke a single word. Thanks to December, all of us received written warnings. The saddest part of it all? None of them could even speak English properly. I could read the laughter on both of these safety officers’ expressions. It was so embarrassing. Mr. Brat Frowray made one last statement, but it sure sounded more as a threat to us all. “If we act like animals then he would treat us like animals.” We were lucky the material which fell down didn’t injure any of the clients. Otherwise the whole team would be sent home. He would sue SGB-Cape for damages. There would be hell to be pay. It was 12:30 and the ten golden rules were being recapped. Before the meeting was adjourned, pressure was building, and the supervisor didn’t care about our safety. He repeatedly forced everyone to work regardless of the rules and regulations of the company. A question came to play in and out of my head like a broken record repeating itself over and over. “Would I rather work and put myself in harm’s way, or stand by and refuse to do the wrong thing, which meant not getting paid?”
A piece of material came tumbling down and struck the surface right in front of the clients making their way into the entrance of the hotel. Luckily nobody was injured, but without delay a safety officer of Pro-Plan had summoned everyone to stop working and climb down from the monstrous web of massive metal. A meeting was to be held in the parking area of the building.
Now before the toolbox talks meeting the same morning, my colleagues were gossiping behind the supervisors back on how deceitful and manipulative the manager of the company was. Yet, the very same people continued to work and worship the place for years. No questions asked. If an employee was more educated than the supervisor and the team, it meant that person was a threat and it wasn’t fair, especially when you’re a new recruit who isn’t afraid to say how you feel if another person is treating you poorly on site. Now during that day, a noisy uproar broke out in the lobby. A number of sportsmen were checking in the hotel, whilst the others were busy removing luggage from the coach.
At a blissful morning in the midst of summer 2015 at 8:30, the supervisor of SGB-Cape scaffolding, Mr W. Dlomo, was furiously barking orders from below the building as he had previously done in the toolbox talks meeting earlier. I was trying to manoeuvre my way up the ladder, and for a brief moment I couldn’t help noticing the numerous number of adolescents behind me climbing gradually like a large black widow on a thick twisted trunk of a tree stalking its pray. General workers, skilled scaffold erectors, and fixers were not very pleased about the toolbox talks meeting. “Would I rather put myself in harm’s way or stand by and refuse to do the wrong thing, which meant I wouldn’t get paid?”