All of us, especially in the agricultural sector where we are responsible for food security, need to join the fight against the Coronavirus so that we can save lives, particularly of those who are most vulnerable to this infection, namely the elderly, and those with underlying health problems who will be affected the most. 
We all need to adhere to legislation and the rules of the lockdown. It is important to keep our distance, wash our hands, and avoid physical contact with others. If we are sick with flu-like symptoms, then we must stay home and call the coronavirus hotline for advice on 0800 029 999. If we cough or sneeze, we must do into our arm or a tissue which can be thrown away.
We understand that this lockdown is not easy, and it has resulted in many people feeling afraid or confused. We are all in this together and we need to flatten the curve.

The importance of sharing information with your workforce

We all take the health and safety of agricultural workers very seriously. To keep workers safe, it is very important that producers share in depth detail regarding the Coronavirus with their workers. Take the time to raise awareness, inform them properly and give them regular updates about the facts, prevention and current status. Workers are scared and if they are not well informed, they cannot manage the prevention and the symptoms properly. It is not only important to create awareness among employees to proactively eliminate the spread within the workplace, but also at their homes. Many workers leave and return to their families which could put the most vulnerable at risk. For information on general hygiene and proactive measures, visit the link provided.
Click here for more information on general hygiene and proactive measures
The Golden Rules of Good Hygiene

Firstly, a mask is not a solve-all solution in the fight against COVID-19 and should never be used as a replacement for basic good hygiene considerations. The most important thing everyone should do is:
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the corner of your arm, and safely throw away the tissue
  • Keep a distance of 1,5m from others
  • If you are ill, stay at home, and if need be, call a medical facility to arrange for clinical assessment
This should always be adhered to, regardless of whether you have a mask or not.
Wearing a mask does not make you safe from COVID-19 and members of the public must always follow these basic hygiene golden rules. They remain our most effective tool for the public to fight the spread of this virus.
We are aware that there is a national shortage of hand sanitizers (with +60% alcohol content), as well as scanner thermometers, and other protective personal equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.  In the absence of hand sanitizers, we advise the agri-community to use soap and water — which remains the gold standard for hand hygiene according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the national Institute for communicable diseases (NICD).

The 7 Emotional Stages you will go through during lockdown

With South Africa’s 21-day lockdown it is expected that people will go through the following different emotional stages.

  1. Optimism: This is going to be great. I can finally get to all the side-projects I’ve been wanting to work on, or improve a certain skill, pick up that hobby.
  2. Determination: When you can feel that you’re less positive about self-isolation, but you’re determined to keep going and stick to your routine and have a schedule to help you manage the situation.
  3. Satisfaction and frustration: You’ll experience times when you’re more productive, and times that you’re less productive, and alternate between moments of satisfaction and periods of frustration.
  4. Depression: When you start struggling and feeling, “this is hard”. Boredom might settle in. Your routine or lack of routine might not be working for you anymore. You might experience restlessness that makes it difficult to concentrate. You miss going out and seeing friends and loved ones. You might feel demotivated, hopeless, or feel a sense of despair.
  5. Anger: You might experience anger about the situation, the confinement, and get easily irritated by others in your household.
  6. Acceptance: When you accept the situation for what it is and carry on doing whatever is in your control and letting go of what is not in your control.
  7. Making meaning: Remembering that this move to self-isolate is necessary and that you’re serving humanity and the greater good to help prevent more sickness and death.
How can I cope: Regardless of whether you have a mental health issue or not, this period of uncertainly and disruption has made it increasingly difficult for people to maintain good mental health. If you or your workers need any assistance to cope with emotions or behavioural changes please make contact with a professional counselling firm who can supply training and/or life skill programmes.
Click here to contact Procare for assistance

Useful Resources

Contact the SIZA staff for assistance:
Retha Louw: 0823027507
Lynn Taute: 071 677 4435
Carmen Botes: 084 625 6396
Werner van Dyk: 082 062 1750
Henko Vlok: 076 855 6850
Karla Hoogendijk: 078 382 4438
Jo-Anne September: 078 120 9002
Lizzy Sebati: 079 766 2010
For more information, please visit the SIZA website where access to multiple resources have been provided on audit procedures, government information, workplace guidelines, general information, as well as information material and posters.
SIZA COVID-19 Resources
Western Cape Department of Health
Packhouse Measures
Self-isolation versus Quarantine
Harvesting Measures
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