Anastasi Mokgobu
2 minute read
21 Nov 2019
6:35 am

‘Fireworks’ planned in Joburg CBD on Sunday morning

Anastasi Mokgobu

The implosion will be open to viewing by those who are interested, but only from outside the exclusion zone.

A general view of the burning Gauteng Department of Health and Human Settlements (Bank of Lisbon) building in the Johannesburg CBD, 06 September 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Residents of Johannesburg’s CBD can expect some “fireworks” this weekend.

The Gauteng department of infrastructure and property management has announced details regarding the plan to demolish the Bank of Lisbon Building in Johannesburg.

The 31-storey building was severely damaged in September last year following the tragic fire that occurred in the building which housed several government departments.

The fire resulted in the death of three firefighters, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Simphiwe Moropana and Khathutshelo Muedi, who were on call.

The department’s MEC Tasneem Motara said after an assessment was conducted by structural engineers, it was discovered that the fire caused severe damage to the slabs of the burnt floors and posed a threat of collapsing if left.

“A decision was then taken that the building should be demolished. The contractor has completed pre-demolition works that includes decanting, salvaging, stripping of walls, ceilings and carpets, wrapping of the walls and demolition of basement floor slaps around the main structure core,” Motara said.

“The exclusion zone affects 10 buildings with 1,828 people. Extensive consultations have since happened and the necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure the safety of all residents, some of whom are students. Logistical preparations are at an advanced stage.”

The exclusion zone includes everything inside Diagonal, Pritchard, Simmonds and Commissioner streets. This includes buildings, rooftops, parking lots, streets and parks.

Motara said a government joint operations committee has been activated as part of the planning process as per the operational plan to demolish the building, and clearing of the site will be completed by next March.

The building will be demolished on Sunday morning and the residents will be evacuated to a safer place.

“At 6.30am on Sunday, residents will be evacuated and will be accommodated in Bank City for up to three hours. Once the building has been imploded and cleared, residents will be allowed back. This should be able to happen at about 9.30am,” said Motara.

The implosion will be open to viewing by those who are interested, but only from outside the exclusion zone and several streets will be affected by the closures from Saturday.

The following streets will be affected by street closures: Diagonal and Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Ntemi Piliso, Commissioner and Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Commissioner and Fraser.

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