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LISTEN: Tshwane to probe building safety

This follows a fatal fire at the Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg.

Solly Msimanga
Maryke Vermaak

It was later confirmed that only 21% of the building was compliant with the necessary health and safety regulations.

The building housed three government departments and workers had previously raised concern over its dire state.

Nine other buildings in the Johannesburg CBD have subsequently been evacuated for non-compliance.

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Msimanga’s spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi says their investigation will also include buildings owned by the city.

“At the centre of these audits is our goal to preserve innocent lives. Naturally, government buildings house hundreds and hundreds of people at any given point, thus making it all more urgent to ensure that the building is found to be non-complaint stop operations before disaster strikes.”

This week Msimanga shut down the Department of Correctional Services’ Poyntons building due to a lack of fire and emergency evacuation regulations.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has since backed the decision to shut down the building, saying the building has not complied since 2016.

“There has not been a health and safety committee, there have not been first aiders, there have been no fire marshals and there have not been any evacuation plans in case of a fire, furthermore, the building has no certificate of compliance for the 9 lifts, the water tank that must be compliant in case of fire has had no water, has had no pressure pump and is not even connected to the main water feeder,” says spokesperson Richard Mamabolo.

 The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association have also raised concern about the Civitas building in Pretoria where the National Department of health is situated.

 The unions have threatened to approach the courts to have the building closed down.

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