13 July 2018

South Africa: Deadly Grayston Drive Bridge Collapse Inquiry Completes Its Work

The inquiry into the Grayston Drive pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse is waiting for legal representatives of interested stakeholders to submit written heads of argument, the Department of Labour said on Friday.

The heads of argument are expected to be handed in by August 14.

"This will be followed by written responses to the heads of argument which are expected to be submitted by 17 September 2018," department spokesperson Teboho Thejane said in a statement.

The inquiry, which was set up by the department to investigate the October 14, 2015 incident, completed its work this week after gathering evidence on the collapse of the temporary work structure, Thejane said.

Two people died and 19 others were injured when the incident occurred at approximately 15:25 that day.

The inquiry, which resumed on July 2 after a nine-month lull, completed its work ahead of the scheduled target, said Thejane. It had its first sitting in February 2016.

"When it resumed on July 2, the commission had set 27 September 2018 as the target date to complete its work," said Thejane.

Stakeholders in the inquiry include the Johannesburg Municipality as the client, Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) as the agent, Royal Haskoning DHV (an engineering company appointed by JDA as the engineering agent for the project), Murray & Roberts as the principal contractor appointed by JDA, Form-Scaff as the contractor appointed by Murray & Roberts, the people injured in the incident, the Engineering Council of South Africa, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) representing the employees of Murray & Roberts, and attorneys representing the Doodnath family who were injured in the incident and the late Mr Doodnath, said Thejane.

He added that, following the latest session, some of the witnesses that appeared before the inquiry included Roxana le Roux (an environmental, health and safety officer from Nemai Consulting), Oliver Aadnesgaard (an employee of Murray & Roberts who worked as an assistant to the construction manager during the collapse of the temporary works structure), Hein Pretorius (an engineer during the construction), and Dr Roger Barker (the chief engineer at the time for Murray & Roberts).

Thejane said witnesses that had previously appeared before the inquiry included Professor Roelf J. Mostert, Richard Beneke, Ric Snowden and Dr Stefanus Francois van Zyl, who were all expert witnesses representing Murray & Roberts. Garry Farrow and Dr Andrew Potts, who are both engineers based in Australia, testified on behalf of Form-Scaff.

Source: News24

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