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'Charlotte Maxeke roof collapse proves staff safety not a priority'

The Public Servants Association says it had warned government about the poor conditions of hospitals across the province over the past five years.

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 – The Public Servants Association (PSA) says the structural collapse at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital proves that the Gauteng provincial government has no safety consideration for its employees and the general public at health care facilities.

The workers union says it had warned the government about the poor conditions of hospitals across the province over the past five years.

Five people were injured when a section of the roof caved on Thursday, while contractors were working on it.

PSA’s Leon Gilbert says government has never reverted positively to their warnings and requests.

“We highlighted the fact that some of the facilities aren’t safe and that the employers are responsible for ensuring safe conditions of work for our members.”

INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

Last week, Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo said an investigation into the roof collapse was underway and any officials within his department found to have been at fault will be correctly dealt with.

The MEC said he had appointed an independent law firm to investigate the cause of the collapse.

Mamabolo said he had terminated his department's contract with the company employed to perform maintenance at the hospital with immediate effect.

He said if investigations showed that his own officials were in the wrong, action would be taken.

“If we find that any of our officials were negligent then we will act promptly and swiftly.”

He said he has asked the investigators employed to probe the matter to advise him on the possibility of litigation against his department by those who were injured.

The MEC said he would be meeting with the investigators on Monday to find out exactly when they could conclude their probe.

WATCH: Roof collapse at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital injures 5