Labour dept to investigate house collapse

Johannesburg – The labour department has sent a team of inspectors to investigate the building collapse in Alberton, south-east of Johannesburg, where nine people were killed on Monday, it said.

"The department has dispatched a team of inspectors to investigate after which they will issue a preliminary report on the cause of the accident," it said in a statement.

The department said Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant had sent her condolences to the families of those who were killed.

The house collapsed at the Meyersdal Eco Estate.

ER24 said nine people were killed and the injured were taken to hospital.

Two of the 27 builders working on the house were still missing under the rubble, spokesperson Luyanda Majija said.

"As we [were] busy searching, we discovered another three bodies," Ekurhuleni emergency services spokesperson William Ntladi said.

"The total is nine for now, but the search is still going on. This number might change," he said.

Earlier, Netcare 911 said five people had been killed and eight injured. Nine people were then believed to still be stuck under the rubble.

The estate confirmed the accident.

"Today, at approximately 10:30, a structure at the house of one of our residents which was undergoing alterations collapsed," it said in a statement.

"Emergency services are still involved in rescue operations and the families of the affected workers have yet to be informed."

Security at the upmarket estate was tight as non-residents were questioned before they were allowed access. Some were turned away.

The estate's attorney Andrew Boerner said they were waiting for an update from emergency services.

"We ask the media to await the official statement from emergency services until such time as they have completed their rescue operation," he said outside the gates of the upmarket estate.

"We are liaising with emergency services and providing our full co-operation to them and the contractor."

Meyersdal Eco Estate is the property from where two giraffes were removed last month.

The giraffes were being transported on the N1 highway on a truck when one of them hit its head on a bridge and died.

Last week, the Gauteng agriculture department said the estate was being investigated over whether it had the correct permits to bring in and keep giraffes.

Nolusindiso Mooi Mnyezima 2014/08/18 04:11:51 PM
May their souls rest in Peace, condolences to their families
Trevor Theron 2014/08/18 04:22:03 PM
Very tragic, find the architects and builders see if they have Doctorate degrees.
Khanyo Ngwane 2014/08/18 04:53:48 PM
Wehr, so in your world there are no mistakes or isolated incidents of someone trying to cut corners. Why must all bad things even it's one incident or 2 always attributed to black people. Do you hate them this much that you can't look beyond them? You'll be suprised to learn that perhaps it's one of your own supreme being who is responsible. Wait for the investigation & stop your racist tendencies. Who said everything you touch turns to gold?
Xhanti Makubalo 2014/08/18 05:04:33 PM
And what about the giraffes?
John Greystoke 2014/08/18 05:05:35 PM
Alterations? Perhaps some support columns were removed making the span too long? It would be interesting to see what caused the collapse!
Lerato Rato 2014/08/18 05:16:35 PM
cheap material same as the one used by RBA,
Redphi 2014/08/18 05:22:34 PM
Corruption, affirmative action, unqualified architects , welcome to collapsing SA , Africa awaits us,China suffers from the same idiocracy
Hezekiel Madidimalo Mamadi 2014/08/18 05:27:01 PM
poor planning . we had a mudhouse that was built mixing soil and cowdung the house survived all storms and floods and its still strong . planning planning root cause
Lebohang Mohau 2014/08/18 05:44:57 PM
It's quite obvious these workers have carried out unintended demolition work instead of alterations. They have probably knocked down some load bearing walls thus undermining the structural integrity of the whole house leading to progressive failure and collapse of the house. The major question is did the engineer in charge submit alteration drawings, method statements and health and safety files? If so, does this engineering work work meet standards and norms, if so was site supervision adequate? If not, did the council pick up potential problems and disapproved the proposed renovations?......Questions are endless, and some answers will probably also lead to more questions if shoddy is involved.....Expert witnesses will have to come and remodel the whole collapse mechanism until they reach a conclusion of how the failure came about.
Sarah Laubscher 2014/08/18 06:12:20 PM
How can anyone imagine a family moving back to a house where 9 people have died renovating it. The owner will never sell the property with the blood of the construction workers buried in the house.