Tshwane building evacuated, shutdown for being unsafe

The Poyntons building in the Tshwane CBD, which houses the Department of Correctional Services was evacuated and shut down indefinitely after it was found to be non-compliant. 

During a special mayoral operation on Wednesday morning focusing on derelict buildings, crime and substance abuse, Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga made an unannounced visit at the Poyntons building. 

In a statement, he said the visit brought home the reality that some government buildings do not meet the necessary safety regulations, putting the lives of hundreds of employees at risk.

"It was evident during the inspection that the building does not comply with the minimum fire safety requirements set for a building of this height," Msimanga said. 

"The building of 32 storeys and of a height of about 100m with approximately 1 700 occupants does not have any firefighting water inside the building.

"Further, various other life-threatening conditions exist in the building that warranted the closure of the building."

solly msimanga

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga inspecting Poyntons building in the CBD which was evacuated and shut down after it was found to be unsafe and non compliant. (Supplied)

Building closed until reinspection

All activities at the building were immediately halted after the inspection and staff were evacuated. 

"No one will be allowed to occupy the building until such time that all regulations are adhered to," Msimanga said. 

"As the current level of compliance is deemed to be unacceptable; emergency services have issued a prohibition notice to the building owner to cease any and all activities within the building and subsequently to immediately close the building and evacuate all occupants and tenants alike."

The mayor said that the building would remain closed until emergency services conduct a regulatory reinspection of the premises and satisfy themselves that the building is in compliance with fire protection regulations and related fire safety requirements.

Last week, three fire fighters died in a blaze at the Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg. The building was also found to be non-compliant. 

"Operations like this one we did today are to prevent what happened in Johannesburg and save lives."