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Read the PIRB and IOPSA’s formal statement regarding the COVID-19 national lockdown

Read the PIRB and IOPSA’s formal statement regarding the COVID-19 national lockdown

On Monday 23 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa took the unprecedented step – in democratic South Africa – in announcing a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

For the first time in South Africa’s 25 years of democracy, Ramaphosa announced stringent restrictions which will be the responsibility of every South African in order to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 infections.

Public and private organisations, their staff and service providers essential to the security of supply of bulk and potable water and sanitation must continue to operate and provide vital water and sanitation services. This includes plumbers operating in the maintenance and servicing sector of the industry.

IOPSA and PIRB are currently in talks with plumbing merchants and we will advise if they will be trading as and when the information is made available.

In regard to insurance companies, most will continue to handle insurance claims they deem emergencies, for more information on this (Please contact the relevant insurance company directly for clarity).

As per the Presidents announcement, basic transport will be made available to all employees who work within the essential services sectors however, we strongly advise all our members that only essential staff should be at work, non-essential staff should be sent home.

IOPSA and the PIRB formally recommend that when Plumbers are on route to a job that they carry the following:

  • A formal letter on the company letterhead, printed in full colour with the Plumbers full name and identity number, address and confirming that they are in the employment of your business as well as the full trading business hours. This letter will have to be signed by the owner of the direct manager – please also provide your details for verification.
  • Their PIRB card and registration number
  • Identification e.g. ID book or card, driver’s license or passport
  • Physical or Electronic copy of the job card which will include the type of job, contact details of the client and address
Plumbers should take precautions to protect the health and safety of their workers and clients and we will shortly put out a formal Health & Safety guideline and webinar to assist these plumbers. Registration is now open for small and medium-sized businesses to ask for government help during the coronavirus disaster. A special website for the department of small business development, at www.smmesa.gov.za , started accepting details late on Monday night.

The site asks for basic details, such as contact details and shareholder information, with the option to ask for either financial assistance, or non-financial assistance, or both.

For IOPSA will be extending their membership discount period until the end of April 2020 and should any of our members not be able to pay their membership within this period, please kindly email executivedirector@iopsa.org.

PIRB will also not be introducing its yearly increase on the certificates during this time.

We strongly advise that all plumbing businesses charge client’s normal rates during this time. The President also made it very clear that profiteering now will be dealt with in the harshest manner.

As the plumbing representative bodies, we understand the immense concern and are aware that there is a multitude of questions that need to be answered, the management, staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide IOPSA members and PIRB registered plumbers with verified information as and when it is made available. So stay in touch.

Both IOPSA and PIRB Offices will be closed however all staff have been set up to working remotely, so it is business as usual.

Confirmation of PIRB registered plumbers and IOPSA membership if required can be verified by:

IOPSA: Visit www.iopsa.org
PIRB: Contacting the PIRB office – 0861 747 275 or visiting www.pirb.co.za

We urge you all to join PIRB’s and IOPSA’s social media pages for regular updates and information. Additional information can be found here: https://www.iopsa.org/COVID-19-Updates

“With great power comes great responsibility”.

As Professional Plumbers, we must continue playing our part in protecting the health and safety of our nation, but it imperative that in this time of our country’s need we must all work together in a responsible and proactive manner.

Be Plumber Proud!

From the Desk of:

Brendan Reynolds. Executive Director of IOPSA and Lea Smith, Chairman of the PIRB

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