Roadwork accident investigated

Investigations into the deaths of two construction workers, who were killed during an accident on Thursday 1 March, are underway.

The construction workers were employed on the City of Cape Town’s Kommetjie Road upgrade project.

The accident took place when a trench reportedly collapsed, leaving two men dead.

A third man was injured in the incident.

Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, says: “The City confirms with great sadness that two men, aged 38 and 31, were fatally injured during an incident that occurred at around 11:50. A trench sidewall collapsed while they were installing a new water pipeline system along Kommetjie Road in the Far South.

“Martin & East, the company contracted by the City for the Kommetjie Road project, confirmed that another man (38) sustained minor injuries and was admitted to hospital shortly after the incident. He has been discharged since then.”

When questioned about the cause of the accident, Herron only reiterated that a trench sidewall collapsed and said the cause is being investigated. “The area where the incident happened was closed off with immediate effect. No work will continue in this area until such time as the necessary investigations have been completed. The Department of Labour was informed of the incident and their investigation has started. The City’s appointed safety agent for the project has also conducted an investigation of the site. The outcome of the investigations will determine what remedial action, if any, is necessary.”

The project has already faced delays due to the relocation of medium-voltage electrical cables situated in the road reserve of Ou Kaapse Weg, Herron previously told People’s Post (“Cables tie up works”, 19 October 2017). The provisional completion date is November 2019.

The accident is not expected to add to the delays, Herron says. “Work in other areas of the site is continuing in order to meet the contractual deadlines.”

The upgrade is expected to see an investment of R170m to relieve congestion on the main traffic routes and at key intersections in the area. The first and second phase will see Kommetjie Main Road between Ou Kaapse Weg and a point just west of Capri Drive change to a four-lane dual carriageway with shoulders or cycleways and sidewalks for pedestrians.

The second phase will include the upgrade of Ou Kaapse Weg between Kommetjie Main Road and a point just north of Noordhoek Road to a four-lane dual carriageway. The third phase will see Kommetjie Main Road between Capri Drive and Houmoed Avenue upgraded to a similar cross-section as in the first phase.

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