Let­ter linked to dis­as­ter

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

QUES­TIONS have arisen over a let­ter prais­ing the work of the builders of the col­lapsed Ton­gaat mall, used to ob­tain a low-cost hous­ing con­tract from the eThek­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

This fol­lows an an­nounce­ment this week by the Na­tional Home Builders’ Reg­is­tra­tion Coun­cil (NHBRC) that it would in­ves­ti­gate all projects un­der con­struc­tion by Woodglaze Trad­ing and Gralio Pre­cast.

Gralio was the com­pany build­ing the Ton­gaat mall which col­lapsed on Novem­ber 19, killing two peo­ple and in­jur­ing 29 oth­ers.

Fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent ques­tions arose over the qual­ity of Gralio’s work­man­ship.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity was crit­i­cised over the award­ing of a con­tract to Gralio as part of the Cor­nu­bia low-cost hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in Mount Edge­combe.

eThek­wini mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Sibu­siso Sit­hole said he had tried to pre­vent Gralio from be­ing awarded the con­tract in 2011.

But the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s ap­peals au­thor­ity over­turned Sit­hole’s de­ci­sion af­ter new ev­i­dence emerged, in­clud­ing a let­ter from the NHBRC prais­ing the qual­ity of Gralio’s work.

Com­ment could not be ob­tained from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

NHBRC spokes­woman Mole­bo­geng Taun­yane said the NHBRC would com­plete its probe be­fore the end of next week. – Sapa

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