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Structural collapse inquiry appointed by Department of Labour to start with second sitting

The Imperial Logistics Construction Structural collapse inquiry appointed by the Department of Labour to investigate the causes of the collapse of a building in Jacobs, Durban is to sit for a second session from 04-15 March 2019.

Expected to take a stand is Robert Wilkens, an expert witness from Benrob Construction. The inquiry is sitting at KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association offices, 40 Essex Terrace, Westville, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Section 32 inquiry held its first session from 23 February-01 March 2019 in which six expert witnesses were quizzed. Witnesses that have testified to date include witnesses from Imperial Logistics, JDF Construction, Bedrock Construction, Talmac Engineering, and Tilt Up Systems.

The Jacobs structural collapse led to the death of four workers: Bhekuyise Moses Sibiya, France Mokhuthu Sekalu, Constandino Mapukula and Siyabonga Bhane. Four other workers were injured.

This follows an incident on the 28 March 2018, in which Echo Prestress, a precast roofing company, were busy with the final installation of the concrete precast roof slab. At approximately 12H30, the precast concrete structure collapsed resulting in the deaths and injury of workers.

This fatal collapse caused structural damage to an adjacent building and damages to a heavy duty vehicle which was stationary on the public road along the perimeter fence of the facility.

Since then, the Department of Labour’s inspectors issued a prohibition notice to Imperial Logistics, prohibiting it from any further work until the circumstances and root cause surrounding the collapse were investigated.

The Section 32 hearing has been appointed by the Department of Labour Chief Inspector, Mr Tibor Szana to investigate levels of adherence to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and negligence that caused occupational injuries and death of workers.

Mr. Sandile Kubeka a Department of Labour Specialist: Occupational Health & Safety has been appointed the Presiding Inspector of the Formal Inquiry. He is assisted by Mr Lennie Samuel, a Forensic Investigator from the Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch.

Of the total of 22 witnesses lined to testify before the Commission, six have already done so. Additional witnesses may/will be called in to testify based on information presented at the inquiry.

The affected parties in the Jacobs building collapse incident include: Imperial Logistics, Tilt Up SA, Talmac Engineering, ECHO Precast, Bedrock Construction, Archi Studio, JDF Construction, Moedi Engineering, Benrob Construction, and ECHO Prestress.

The inquiry starts from 10:00am.

Media is invited to the inquiry.


Issued by:

Department of Labour Spokesperson

Teboho Thejane

082 697 0694

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