The Department of Labour is to set up a Section 32 Inquiry to dig deeper as to the causes and who is to blame for the collapse of scaffolding work into the Grayston Drive pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse that led to the deaths of two people and injury to 19 others.
Department of Labour Deputy Director-General, Aggy Moiloa, told a media a briefing at the departmental head office in Pretoria (Tshwane) today that the department was duty bound to in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act to investigate incidents of this nature.
The Section 32 hearing is usually appointed by the Department of Labour to investigate negligence that may have resulted in occupational injuries and death of workers.
The latest Section 32 Inquiry will more or less operate like the recent Tongaat Mall Structural Collapse Inquiry and the Meyersdale House Collapse Inquiry.
The 14 October 2015 incident which happened at approximately 15h25 led to the death of two people; injury to 19 persons; and three are still critical in Hospital, nine were discharged, two admitted ad five are in stable condition.
Parties involved in the project were the City of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Development Agency who were clients that appointed Royal HaskoningDHV as an agent. Murray & Roberts is the principal contractor and the supplier of material involved in an incident is Formscaff.
The matter was reported to Bramley Police Station and is being investigate. The department first visited the scene of the tragedy on 14 October 2015.
Department labour Chief Inspector, Tibor Szana said preparation to set-up the Commission of Inquiry are underway and the name of the presiding officer would be announced soon. Szana said at this stage the department would not rely on hearsay, innuendos and rumours, “it was for this reason that we are establishing a Section 32 Inquiry to gather further evidence”.
“The Inquiry may take at least six months,” he said there were many parties involved in the matter. He said at this stage the department was not apportioning any blame, but seek to gather more facts. He said the outcome of the Inquiry may result in prosecution based on evidence gathered. Szana said the department has served a prohibition notice for work not to proceed on site until all safety and legislative requirements are complied with.
Once set up, the Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse Inquiry will focus but, not limited to the following:
- The responsibility of the client in terms of construction regulations
- The responsibility of the principal constructor in terms of the construction regulations and as an employer
- The responsibility of the agent on behalf of the client in terms of the same regulations
- Supplier of materials
Once the Commission has completed its evidence gathering it is expected it will prepare a report of its findings and formulate recommendations which will be presented to Labour Minister and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for their consideration.
Meanwhile, the reports on the Tongaat Mall Structural Collapse Inquiry and the Meyersdal Structural Collapse Incident Inquiry are nearing conclusion. Recommendations on the outcomes of the inquiries could be known three weeks.