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Department of Labour postpones the start of inquiry into the collapse of the structure on the premises of Imperial Logistics in Jacobs, Durban to Wednesday

by lloyd last modified 2019-01-22 10:44

21 January 2019

The sitting of the Department of Labour's formal inquiry into the collapse of the structure that was under construction on the premises of Imperial Logistics at 11 Milner Street in Jacobs, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal has been postponed.

The inquiry was supposed to start today (21 January 2019), and will now start on Wednesday (23 January). The postponement was caused by technical circumstances beyond the control of the Department. The Department wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

"The Department whole-heartedly appreciates the KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association for availing its facility during the Freightmax Jacobs Incident inquiry".

The inquiry was supposed to start following the 28 March 2018 incident that led to the death of four workers: Bhekuyise Moses Sibiya, France Mokhuthu Sekalu, Constandino Mapukula and Siyabonga Bhane. Four other employees were injured.

On the above date, 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 damage to an adjacent building and a heavy duty vehicle which was stationary on the public road along the perimeter fence of the facility.

Following the collapse, the Department of Labour’s 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 section 32 inquiry will be held at KwaZulu-Natal Master Builder Association offices, 40 Essex Terrace, Westville, Durban

The Section 32 hearing has been appointed by the Department of Labour Chief Inspector, 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 will be assisted by Mr Lennie Samuel, a Forensic Investigator from the Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch.

The first witness to take the stand will be from Emperial Logistics. A total of 18 witnesses have been lined to testify before the Commission. Additional witnesses may/will be called in to testify based on information presented at the inquiry.

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

The inquiry will start from 10:00am.

Media is invited to the inquiry.

For more information contact:

Nhlanhla Khumalo
Provincial Communication Officer
Department of Labour: KwaZulu-Natal
Phone: 031 366 2018
Mobile 0664880265

Issued by:

Teboho Thejane
Departmental Spokesperson
082 697 0694

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