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On October 31, Hlangothi Mtima received this notice from his employer: “Dear colleague, further to the electronic communication of 15 October 2021 we wish to advise that all employees are required to report to work with effect from 1 November 2021. Henceforth, the policy of working from home will be discontinued unless prior arrangements are made with line managers. We assure you that management has taken all necessary care to ensure your health and safety. All Covid-19 protocols will be strictly observed. Yours sincerely….”

The notice immediately triggered a panic attack on the part of Mtima. For the past 18 months he, along with 200 of his colleagues and tens of thousands of South Africans, have been working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. During this period he converted his bedroom into a makeshift office from which to connect (virtually) with his colleagues...

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