Inquiry launched into Meyersdal building collapse

An inquiry has been launched after preliminary investigations found the renovations were illegal.

Meyersdal Building collapse victim, Sipho Mofokeng speak to EWN about the tragedy that claimed the lives of Seven people on Monday 18 August 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Department has set up an inquiry into the collapse of a house at the Meyersdal Eco Estate after preliminary investigations found that the renovations there were illegal.

A part of the double storey structure collapsed on Monday killing seven construction workers and injuring several others.

The department has called on officials at the Ekurhuleni City Planning Department to testify at the inquiry.

The department's Thobila Lamati says, "Whatever we've had we're going to test it. We're going to have an inquiry. Even the city of Ekurhuleni, they will have to come and testify before the presiding officer during the inquiry."

Meanwhile, Eyewitness News has spoken to one of the construction workers who was injured in the deadly collapse.

34-year-old Sipho Mofokeng is being treated at the Union Hospital in Alberton.

He described what happened when the slate collapsed.

"I just heard a loud noise. When I turned around I saw my colleagues go down so I held onto a wall next to me. Then I felt concrete and bricks hitting me on my back.

"We all started crying for help. Then the people behind me were just silent."

He said he's still trying to come to terms with what happened.

A psychologist is monitoring the injured survivors on a daily basis who are being treated for minor to critical injuries.

ZUMA APPEALS TO BUILDING MANAGERS

President Jacob Zuma has appealed to builders and project managers across South Africa to apply necessary protection measures to avoid such an incident.

The presidency's Mac Maharaj said, "President Zuma further appealed to building and project managers across the country to comply with building and safety regulations to prevent such incidents in the future."

Maharaj also said Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the seven men who died.

"President Zuma has extended his condolences to the families of the nine people who lost their lives. We also wish all those who were injured in this tragic incident a speedy recovery."