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Business as usual at Charlotte Maxeke despite roof collapse

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says only a section of the hospital was affected and it should be business as usual on Friday.

Emergency Services on the scene of a structural collapse at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg on 2 March 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Officials says the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital is expected to function as normal on Friday despite part of its roof caving in and injuring at least five people.

Emergency services worked through the night, digging through rubble to make sure that all the people were accounted for.

Two patients, two maintenance contractors and a staff member were among the injured.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says only a section of the hospital was affected and it should be business as usual on Friday.

“Any other part of the hospital is functioning normally, it has not been affected at all.”

Motsoaledi says a proper investigation into the incident should be conducted.

Infrastructure and Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Thursday night announced that the maintenance company which was working on the roof when it collapsed has had its contract terminated with immediate effect, and will be held accountable.

WATCH: Roof collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital injures 5

CONCERNS RAISED

At the same time, the roof collapse has raised questions about the apparent failure by officials to heed numerous warnings about structural weaknesses and defects at the facility, placing lives at risk.

Several doctors have told Eyewitness News they have been raising the alarm about the building for years - but nothing has been done.

Two years ago, Eyewitness News revealed that a report compiled by independent consultants in 2012 had warned that the X-ray department on the fifth floor of the hospital was at risk of collapsing.

Thursday's roof collapse occurred on the same floor but not close to the X-ray department.

That report however did note numerous concerns about the structural integrity of the entire building.

At the time, the report was described as alarmist.

DOCTORS SPEAK OUT

Several doctors have also told Eyewitness News they have been complaining for years about structural issues.

Water seeps through the ceiling in the theatre complex, forcing closures.

Water drips from broken ceiling panels, faeces has leaked into parts of the paedeatric clinic, the cooling systems have broken down, and the ICU has even been compromised.

The list goes on and on.

They say officials are failing to act on these warnings and their patients deserve so much better.

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