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A consultant testifies over lack of adherence to health and safety during Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry

by Lloyd Ramutloa last modified 2018-07-02 17:43


A witness from Nemai Consulting testified that there was no proof produced on site to check whether safety and health was adhered to during the construction of the ill-fated M1/Grayston bridge temporary structure.

Testifying during the Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry set-up by the Department of Labour, Roxana le Roux told the commission that an inspection register was necessary and needed to be availed on site for inspection.

Le Roux, an environmental, health and safety officer told the Commission that she was not sure whether the structure was being checked regularly to ensure health and safety. She told the Commission that she had asked site managers to avail the health and safety register on site.

She told the Commission that while a scaffolding officer was appointed, a competency certificate was not available. She further told the Commission that there was also no proof of inspection of scaffolding works. She said these certificates were only made available after the collapse.

The health and safety official told the Commission that she had also asked for Risk assessment report(s) to no avail.

Asked about the impact of not communicating risk assessment? Le Roux said these could pose a health and safety risks on site.

Le Roux testified that even the temporary works certificate before the collapse was still outstanding.

Asked if she was aware the Construction Regulations empowered her to stop work on site, Le Roux said she would have had “good reasons to stop activities on site”.

Maphaha’s cross testimony to Le Roux on Construction Regulation drew the ire of Murray & Roberts legal representative Sias Reyneke who objected to the Commissioner’s line of questioning. Maphaha cautioned Reyneke that he could not run a Commission on the wrong chair.

Meanwhile, Reyneke a legal representative representing Murray & Roberts told the Commission that they would no longer be participating in the cross-examining of any witnesses.

Reyneke earlier told the Commission that they would prefer to send a list of questions to witnesses and allow them to respond, as they do not want to burden witnesses and prolong the process any further.

“We are of the view that no witnesses should be cross examined,” said Reyneke.

Maphaha responded to Reyneke and said it would be a gross oversight not to cross examine witnesses.

“I intend to cross examine witnesses. Whoever do/does not want to cross-examine the witnesses is within his or her own right. It would be an act of injustice not to examine witnesses. It is important for me to get information. If I get written information that will be of help. If I do not cross examine witnesses, it will mean I have the information I require.

“It would not  be correct not to question witnesses. The issue of whether to question or not to question witnesses is not a matter for discussion,” Maphaha emphasised.

In terms of sequencing of witnesses the inquiry was supposed to cross-examine Mr Genu from JDA, but was not available due to other engagements, he will now be expected to be cross examined next week.

The inquiry continues tomorrow.


Issued by:

Teboho Thejane 

Departmental Spokesperson 

082 697 0694

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