Deadline set for Meyersdal inquiry

All parties involved in the collapse have until the end of next month to investigate & hand in their reports.

The site of the Meyersdal Eco Estate where a building collapsed, killing seven construction workers and injuring several others. Picture: iWitness.

JOHANNESBURG - A deadline has been set for the labour department's inquiry into the deadly house collapse in Meyersdal, with all parties involved given two months to put together their arguments.

The inquiry has been set up to probe the circumstances around last week's collapse after the City Of Ekurhuleni planning department's preliminary results found that some renovations at the house were being carried out illegally.

Seven construction workers were killed in the collapse, while 19 others survived.

A meeting which included the owner of the double-storey house, his legal team, engineers and the construction company involved took place in Pretoria on Thursday.

All parties involved in the Meyersdal Eco Estate house collapse inquiry have until the end of next month to go to the site, investigate and hand in their reports.

Commission chairperson Phumudzo Maphaha says he has set aside two weeks from 29 October for the cross-examination of all witnesses.

"Let's agree we are booking the hearing to start on 29 October to 7 November."

He says legal teams will be given 30 days after this to put together their heads of arguments.

The department has also appealed to all parties investigating the incident, to stick to the deadline set to ensure the families of the victims are given closure.

The department has also appealed to the construction company involved in the renovations of the house to cooperate in letting the surviving construction workers testify during the commission of inquiry.

Maphaha says he would like to start the commission with the cross examination of the surviving workers.

"I want workers who were there when it happened. It helps for them to give us an idea of what they saw; they help to paint the picture."