11 June 2019

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 in Westville.

to take the stand when the inquiry reconvene is Demo Salerno, a construction
site Principal Agent. In March when the inquiry last sat, Salerno was supposed
to take the stand when the inquiry adjourned when other parties’ legal
representatives required more time than was allocated to interrogate the

To date,
23 witnesses have been interrogated – with building inspector from eThekwini
municipality, expert witnesses (engineers), and the CEO of Imperial – Steven
Smith. At least four witnesses will now be expected to testify before the
inquiry concludes its work.  

Section 32 inquiry started gathering testimony on 23 February 2019. The third
session will start from 18-21 June 2019.

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.

follows an incident on the 28 March 2018, in which Echo Prestress 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.

fatal collapse caused structural damage to an adjacent building and damage to a
heavy-duty vehicle which was stationed on the public road along the perimeter
fence of the facility.

then, the Department of Labour’s inspectors issued a notice to Imperial
Logistics, prohibiting it from any further work until the circumstances
surrounding the collapse were investigated.

Section 32 hearing has been appointed by the Department of Labour Chief
Inspector, Tibor Szana to investigate levels of compliance with the Occupational
Health and Safety (OHS), and negligence that caused occupational injuries and
deaths of workers.

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.  

If anyone
is found to have contravened the OHS Act or its regulations, a recommendation
to prosecute will be made to the National Prosecuting Authority.

More information from Nhlanhla
Khumalo, Phone: 031 366 2018,

Email: [email protected]

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