Minister Thulas Nxesi Urges Workers Safety Priority Following George Building Collapse

Minister Thulas Nxesi Urges Workers Safety Priority Following George Building Collapse

  • Minister Thulas Nxesi emphasizes the paramount importance of workplace safety following the tragic building collapse in George
  • Nxesi said it is imperative to recommit to the principle that no job is worth risking the safety or lives of employees.
  • So far, seven people have been announced dead, and the number of patients admitted has increased to 36, with 39 people still unaccounted for
George building collapse
Rescue workers at the collapsed multistorey building in George. Images: Twitter/ @SAPoliceService
Source: Twitter

The George building collapse should be a wake-up call to prioritize workplace safety, according to the Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi.

Speaking in the wake of the tragic incident, Nxesi stressed the critical prompt of a sobering reflection on workplace safety, as reported by SANews.

No job is worth a life

The collapse occurred Monday afternoon at a construction site on Victoria Street, with 75 workers present.

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"The loss of lives and the trapping of individuals in this event have prompted organizations to reassess their health and safety protocols and procedures."

As per the recent report from the George Municipality, the count of hospitalized patients has climbed to 36, while 39 individuals remain missing. Sadly, seven fatalities have been confirmed.

Nxesi emphasized the necessity of reaffirming the principle that no task justifies jeopardizing the safety or lives of employees.

"We must exert all possible measures to avoid recurrence of comparable incidents in the future."
"It falls upon all of us to pay tribute to the departed by ensuring their lives hold meaningful significance."
"Enhancing our dedication to health and safety is imperative. Let's collaborate to avert the repetition of such tragedies."

Condolences to the families of those who died

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Offering heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased construction workers, Nxesi also extended well wishes for the swift recovery of the survivors.

He expressed the inadequacy of words to convey the deep sorrow for the lives lost and the agony endured by those awaiting updates on their trapped loved ones.

The Minister confirmed that the department is actively receiving updates from Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspectors and the inspector general.

Various disaster service personnel, including SAPS search and rescue teams aided by sniffer dogs, are currently involved in the ongoing rescue efforts. Investigations are set to commence shortly.

Recognizing the importance of a thorough inquiry, the minister outlined procedures for communicating and updating the public.

"According to our protocols, we will await the formal handover of the site to the department to proceed with investigations as stipulated in Sections 31 and 32 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Typically, the conclusion of rescue and recovery operations precedes the handover."

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Neo Trend Group ICE projects identified as contractor-responsible

Developer Neo Trend ICE Projects has been identified as the contractor responsible for the tragic collapse of the George building.

Following social media backlash, Western Cape officials have disclosed the owner and construction company even after noting they were not at liberty to do so.

According to the executive Mayor of George Municipality, Leon van Wyk, the matter is treated as a criminal case; therefore, they could not disclose the company's name.

Source: Briefly News

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Reitumetse Makwea (Editor) Reitumetse Makwea is a Current Affairs journalist at Briefly News. She has a National diploma, Advanced diploma and Post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. She first worked as a student journalist and freelancer for Caxton's Record Noweto and later joined The Citizen News, where she worked for a little over 3 years covering politics, environmental news, business, education, and health. Reitumetse joined Briefly News in 2024. Email: