Premier receives update on Western Cape Government investigation into George building collapse

Last week Premier Alan Winde and members of his government received a status update from the team of structural engineers appointed by the Western Cape Government (WCG) to investigate the cause of the George building collapse, that occurred on 6 May 2024.

V3 Consulting Engineers is leading the provincial government’s investigation, which comprises several phases.

The search and recovery operation was concluded on Friday, 17 May, and the site was then handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The WCG’s probe was launched just a day after the tragedy. “While we are aware of other investigations that are under way by other bodies, this incident happened in our province and impacted our residents. As Premier I have a responsibility to our residents to ensure that we get the answers that everyone is seeking,” said Premier Winde.

It was emphasised that the collecting of samples from the site had to be done as soon as possible before the rubble was removed to ensure the integrity of the process. At the same time, it was important to ensure that no investigation interfered with the search, rescue, and recovery operation.

Material samples needed to be collected and meticulously documented. “The process began as soon as the investigating team arrived on site and was undertaken with the cooperation of the SAPS. Evidence was collected under the supervision of the SAPS. “We will continue to work together until the conclusion of all investigations. We will do everything possible to ensure this entire process is handled with the professionalism and delicacy that it deserves. But we also have a commitment to the residents of this province to help them understand what happened and if steps need to be taken what actions should be taken,” the Premier said.

Documents that are being sourced include:

  • Construction drawings;
  • Planning and approval applications;
  • Occupational Health and Safety reports; and
  • Site diaries.

Once all the documents are sourced and all materials are collected, they are accordingly analysed.

Technical testing will also be carried out, which is part of a geotechnical assessment.

Interviews will also be conducted with service providers involved in the project.

Premier Winde stressed that this must be a clinical, thorough process to ensure that all evidence that is processed and documented will be sufficient enough to hold up in any ensuing legal matter. “There must be consequences for this tragedy,” he emphasised,

adding, “We owe this to the victims and their families. We also have a responsibility to ensure that everything is done to prevent a similar tragedy like this happening in our province again.”

The Premier extended his condolences to the loved ones of another patient who was extracted from the debris but has since passed away in hospital.

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