‘Negligence’ caused hospital roof to collapse

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The collapse of a roof at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital was caused by “negligent” overloading of rubble, News24 reports that Gauteng Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo has announced. “The intention was for the crushed stone to be removed, regrettably it was stockpiled on the roof. The excessive load caused as a result, the collapse.”

The report says on 2 March, 2017, five people sustained minor injuries when part of the roof near the hospital’s main entrance collapsed. Workers from a privately-owned company were repairing a leaking section of the roof at the time.

Mamabolo said the contractor should have known that that particular weight could not be carried by the structure, and it was their responsibility to execute the project safely without damaging the property. “The damage caused and the people injured are treated in a serious light.”

Mamabolo said those responsible for the collapse would be held accountable. He said the incident had led the department into reviewing how it appoints contractors. Mamabolo said he received a report from specialist attorneys Adams & Adams on 4 April.

According to the Infrastructure Department’s website, the Gauteng government planned to spend R42bn on socio-economic infrastructure programmes in the next three years.

The report says shortly after the collapse, two anonymous sources said that another section of the hospital, a dental clinic run by the University of the Witwatersrand, had been cordoned off because part of its ceiling, which collapsed in January, had still not been repaired.


Renovations to the psychiatric ward at the hospital have, meanwhile, stalled again while the cost has more than tripled to R34m, reports The Times. Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa confirmed a new delay in her response to questions in the provincial legislature by DA MPL Jack Bloom.

A new tender for the renovations is due to go out in this month‚ meaning that the work – originally supposed to be completed in 2014 – will be now be completed in early 2018.
“This would be the third company to work on this ward‚” Bloom is quoted in the report as saying.

Ramokgopa revealed in her reply that a contractor had exceeded the variation order by 20% resulting in its termination.

“The initial contractor‚ Chriselda Building Construction‚ was terminated after it only did Phase 1 of the project which was the doctors’ rooms‚” Bloom said. “The project was re-advertised in August 2015 and a replacement contractor was supposed to complete the job in September last year at a cost of about R10m.

“I hope that a decent contractor is chosen this time who can finally fix this ward which is currently not suitable for patients.”

He said that male and female patients were not properly separated‚ and there were only 20 beds. “The plan is to expand to 40 beds and ensure a congenial environment for psychiatric patients.”

Patients had to use basins or trek to other wards to wash‚ Bloom said in the report‚ because water leaked into other wards when the baths and showers were used.

“It is unacceptable that vulnerable psychiatric patients are treated in such poor conditions at a top hospital.”

News24 report
The Times report

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