Tongaat operation on hold

2013-11-20 19:25
(Picture via Twitter)

(Picture via Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The rescue operation at the Tongaat mall construction site has been called off temporarily, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Wednesday.

"The scene has been handed over to the department of labour who will start removing the concrete," police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said.

"Rescue officers will be on standby."

A section of the mall, which was under construction, collapsed on Tuesday, killing a woman and injuring 29 people.

Earlier, the labour department's KwaZulu-Natal occupational safety assistant director Sandile Khubeka said officials arrived at the scene on Tuesday. They and city engineers were examining the structure and talking to witnesses.

Khubeka said he could not provide more information until the investigation had been completed.

eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo said the mall's owners and the contractors working on it did not have approved building plans.

"No application has ever been made to the city by the current owners or anyone acting on their behalf for the approval of building plans for the construction of the property in question," he told reporters in Durban.

Nxumalo said the only applications received for the site were for earthworks, not for buildings. The applications had been refused, most recently in May.

When the municipality became aware that there was construction at the site, inspectors were sent there and the matter went to court.

Court order

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban granted a court order on 14 November directing the property's owners, Rectangular Property Investments, to suspend all building operations.

eThekwini municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole denied that the municipality had dragged its feet in attempts to halt construction at the site.

Asked why the police were not called to shut down the site, Nxumalo said the site could not be policed 24-hours a day.

He said the company had not received preferential treatment.

Sithole praised emergency personnel's handling of the aftermath of the collapse.

The city would continue with legal processes to obtain a contempt of court order to shut down the site.

It would also pursue those responsible and charge them where they had contravened the law.

Nxumalo said the search and rescue efforts had been temporarily suspended as the labour department took control of operations at the site.

The municipality had appointed a registered engineer to determine why part of the structure collapsed.

Read more on:    james nxumalo  |  durban  |  tongaat mall collapse  |  search and rescue

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.