The Imperial Logistics Construction Structural collapse inquiry appointed by the Department of Employment and Labour to investigate the causes of the collapsed building in Jacobs, Durban today concluded its work – the focus now shifts to the compilation of a report and assessment of evidence.
Mr. Sandile Kubheka, the Presiding Inspector of the Formal Inquiry said in his concluding remarks that the work to compile the report will begin in earnest.
It will take at least six months to complete the report. Ours is to compile the report and make recommendations. The decision to prosecute rests with the National Prosecution Authority.
We have a duty as a Department to avail all the information. However, processes will have to be followed. We would like to thank all the parties who participated in the inquiry for their co-operation, Kubheka said.
The hearing was held at the KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association offices, 40 Essex Terrace, Westville.
The Section 32 hearing was appointed by the Department of Employment and Labour to investigate levels of compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and negligence that caused occupational injuries and death of workers. In the inquiry Kubheka was assisted by Mr Lennie Samuel, a forensic investigator.
The inquiry was appointed following 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 of four workers and injury to four workers.
Imperial Logistics trading as Freightmax was constructing a flammable store facility.
More than 20 witnesses have appeared before the inquiry. The Section 32 inquiry started gathering testimony on 23 February 2019.
The affected parties in the structural collapse included: Imperial Logistics, Tilt Up SA, Talmac Engineering, ECHO Precast, Bedrock Construction, Archi Studio, JDF Construction, Moedi Engineering, Benrob Construction, and ECHO Prestress.
This week’s session was dedicated to submission of heads of arguments by all the affected parties.
However, according to the Commissioners (Kubheka and Samuel) two of the affected parties Tilt Up and Ben Rob Construction who earlier submitted their evidence in chief failed to submit their heads of arguments.
The failure by Tilt Up and Ben Rob Construction to submit heads of arguments happened despite numerous correspondents and follow-ups from the commission.
In the past two days of submission of heads of arguments parties cited a multitude of factors and/or a series of factors as the causes of the collapse.
Source: Department of Labour