Deceased contractor blamed for roof collapse
GAUTENG’S Department of Infrastructure and Development wants to hold the company responsible for renovations at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital liable for a roof collapse there.
But the owner of Thandzanani Trading Enterprises – which has been fingered as negligent – has died.
Infrastructure and Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo has placed the blame for the March roof collapse at the hospital squarely on Thandzanani.
Mamabolo said the roof over the entrance to the hospital’s foyer collapsed because of severe overloading. Five people sustained minor injuries.
Linda John Gama, who owns the company, has died and his legal representatives say they have not received Mamabolo’s report.
Attorney Jabulani Ndlovu said they had not received any updates on the report. “The last time we communicated with Adams & Adams Attorneys, they said they were still compiling the report,” he said. “The owner of Thandzanani has passed away and I have not received instructions since his death.”
Adams & Adams was appointed to probe the collapse.
Mamabolo yesterday said the department would be taking legal action against Thandzanani.
He said: “Although the extent of the overloading cannot be precisely determined, the weight placed on the roof greatly exceeded its design capacity. The overloading was caused by the stockpiling of crushed stone.”
Mamabolo explained that crushed stone was moved to the roof as part of the execution of the waterproofing contract.
“The intention was for the crushed stone to be removed. Regrettably, the stone was stockpiled instead of being taken off the roof through a chute that had been erected for that purpose above the entrance to the hospital. The excessive load created as a result caused the roof to collapse,” he noted.
“The point we are making is that Thandzanani was the one doing waterproofing. And this company was negligent in how it conducted its work, because it led to the stones being piled on the roof instead of removing them,” he said.
According to Mamabolo, the report vindicated the government and confirmed his original position that there was shoddy maintenance work on the part of the contractor.
In addition, Mamabolo said the department, through Adams & Adams, would be taking Thandzanani to court.
He added that the department would be reviewing the appointment of contractors.
“This review commenced well before the incident at Charlotte Maxeke and will be concluded as a matter of urgency,” he said.
Mamabolo said he received preliminary briefings on potential areas of improvement and would be announcing an action plan.
DA MPL Jack Bloom criticised Mamabolo, saying his department failed to manage the construction at the hospital efficiently and failed to enforce quality standards.
“The MEC’s failure to manage this construction project has resulted in the injury of five people,” Bloom said. “Efficient site communication and a health and risk-management protocol must be implemented to ensure the safety of construction sites,” Bloom said.
SHODDY WORKMANSHIP: The collapsed roof at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.