Weak concrete used at Tongaat mall

2014-06-04 16:29
Tongaat roof collapse. (Rajesh Jantilal, AFP)

Tongaat roof collapse. (Rajesh Jantilal, AFP)

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

kalahari.com

Durban - The strength of concrete used in the ill-fated Tongaat mall was in places less than a third of what it should have been, an inquiry heard in Durban on Wednesday.

"This concrete failed to reach even half of what is required. That is a catastrophe. It means collapse," the labour department's occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha said.

He heads a three-man commission investigating the collapse.

The weak concrete was used in the portion that collapsed on 19 November last year, killing two people and injuring 29.

It failed to achieve the required strength of 30 megapascals (MPa) after 28 days of curing.

"The concrete could not even reach one third of what was required," Maphaha said.

He was speaking during testimony of Roderick Raw, the Durban laboratory manager for Contest, a company which tested the concrete at the mall while it was under construction.

Maphaha asked why Raw's laboratory had not raised the alarm over the test results.

Raw said the results would be sent to the builders, Gralio Precast, and he assumed the person receiving them would take action.

Gralio mixed the concrete on site. Raw said he did not believe anything was wrong with the cement used, Lucky Cement.

He said concrete could be weak because insufficient cement was used, or too much water was added.

Raw said from the date Gralio contracted Contest in June 2013 there were substantial variances in the strength of the concrete.

"These results are different from anything that I have experienced," Raw said.

The concrete was tested at three days, seven days and 28 days. According to the design by the structural engineer Andre Ballack, all concrete had to have a strength of 30 Mpa after 28 days.

Earlier on Wednesday, the inquiry was told that Gralio was fined twice for failing to submit building plans and continuing construction despite being served with notices to stop.

Lungiswa Cemane, a law enforcement officer with the eThekwini metro municipality, told the inquiry that she visited the site on 8 May last year and told the foreman that the construction was illegal.

"We showed him the contravention notice and told him to stop building."

She said a fine was issued to a site foreman for R2 500 - R1 000 for failing to comply with a notice to cease building and R1 500 for building without approved plans.

She waited for the workers to leave, but when she returned the next day, found them back on the site.

She then issued another site foreman, Rajan Haripersad, another fine of R2 500 and waited for the workers to leave. The fine issued to Haripersad was subsequently paid.

Building continued and she referred the matter to the eThekwini metro municipality's legal department. She visited the site several times and took photographs which she submitted to the municipality's legal department.

She sent a letter from the city's legal department to the developers.

The commission is expected to prepare a report of its findings and formulate recommendations. These would be handed to the labour minister and National Prosecuting Authority for consideration.

- SAPA

Read more on:    durban  |  tongaat mall collapse
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
27 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Goodwood - 09:10 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Voortrekker Road
  • Tuesday Belhar - 09:08 AM
    Road name: Stellenbosch Arterial Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Symphony Way
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2740.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

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.