18 January 2019

South Africa: Inquiry Into Imperial Logistics Building Collapse Set to Start

The formal Section 32 inquiry into the collapsed structure that was under construction at Imperial Logistics in Durban KwaZulu-Natal kicks off next week.

The inquiry was established following the collapse on 28 March 2018, which led to the death of four workers -- Bhekuyise Moses Sibiya, France Mokhuthu Sekalu, Constandino Mapukula and Siyabonga Bhane. Four other employees were injured.

According to the Department of Labour, Echo Prestress, a precast roofing company, was 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 collapse caused structural damages to an adjacent building, as well as a heavy-duty vehicle that was stationary on the public road along the perimeter fence of the facility.

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

The first session of the Section 32 inquiry will be held from 21 January to 1 February at KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association offices, 40 Essex Terrace, Westville, KwaZulu-Natal.

The hearing will investigate the levels of adherence to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and negligence that caused occupational injuries and death of workers.

A total of 18 witnesses have been lined up to testify before the commission. Additional witnesses may be called in to testify based on information presented at the inquiry.

The affected parties in the 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.

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