The Imperial Logistics Construction Structural collapse inquiry
appointed by the Department of Labour to investigate the causes of the
collapsed building in Jacobs, Durban, is set to resume on 18 June 2019
at the KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association offices, 40 Essex
Expected to take the stand when the inquiry reconvene is Demo
Salerno, a construction site Principal Agent. Salerno, was in March
when the inquiry last sat, supposed to take the stand when the inquiry
adjourned after it was realised that other parties’ legal
representatives would require additional time than was allocated to
interrogate the witness.
To date, 23 witnesses have been interrogated – with building
inspector from eThekwini municipality, expert witnesses (engineers),
and the Chief Executive Officer of Imperial - Steven Smith. At least
four witnesses will now be expected to testify before the inquiry
concludes its work.
The Section 32 inquiry started gathering testimony on 23 February
2019. The third session will start from 18-21 June 2019.
The Jacobs structural collapse led to the deaths of four workers:
Bhekuyise Moses Sibiya, France Mokhuthu Sekalu, Constandino Mapukula
and Siyabonga Bhane. Four other workers were injured.
This follows an incident on the 28 March 2018, in which 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 fatal collapse caused structural damage to an adjacent building
and damages to a heavy duty vehicle which was stationed on the public
road along the perimeter fence of the facility.
Since then, the Department of Labour’s inspectors issued a
prohibition notice to Imperial Logistics, prohibiting it from any
further work until the circumstances and root causes surrounding the
collapse were investigated.
The Section 32 hearing has been appointed by the Department of
Labour Chief Inspector, Mr Tibor Szana to investigate levels of
compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and
negligence that caused occupational injuries and deaths of workers.
Mr. Sandile Kubeka a Department of Labour Specialist: Occupational
Health & Safety is the Presiding Inspector of the Formal Inquiry.
He is assisted by Mr Lennie Samuel, a Forensic Investigator from the
Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES)
The affected parties in the Jacobs 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.
The Department of Labour is investigating the incident in terms of
the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. If anyone
is found to have contravened the Act or its regulations, a
recommendation to prosecute will be made to the National Prosecuting
NB: The inquiry starts from 10:00am on the first day, and
from 19-21 it will start at 08:00am.
Media is invited to the inquiry.
For more information
Department of Employment and Labour
Phone: 031 366
Mobile: 066 488
082 808 2168
© 2019 - The South African Department of Employment & Labour