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Tongaat Mall collapse inquiry begins

Parts of the building caved in during construction in November, killing two people and injuring 29.

FILE: Rescuers search for construction workers still unaccounted for under the rubble at the Tongaat Mall. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - An inquiry into the collapse of the Tongaat Mall in KwaZulu-Natal will officially start today.

Parts of the building caved in during construction in November last year, killing two people and injuring 29 others.

Rescuers search for construction workers still unaccounted for under the rubble at the Tongaat Mall, after a floor collapsed on 19 November, 2013. Picture: AFP.

On Monday, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced the formation of a task team comprising officials from her department as well as the Department of Public Works to look into regulations in the construction industry.

The minister said the team would make recommendations on how the health and safety of workers could be improved.

She added the team would closely monitor the week-long Tongaat inquiry.

"If the outcome says otherwise, we have to inform the Department of Public Works that they must de-register if they didn't adhere to the construction regulations."

Since the collapse, there have been calls for the contractor and developer to be held accountable after allegedly ignoring an official instruction to stop working.

It's also been reported that contractor Jagadasan Singh has been investigated for tax evasion and money laundering along with allegedly stealing his brother's ID to avoid fraud charges.

Singh has also been accused of shoddy workmanship after his company made headlines for building property that was apparently not up to standard.

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