The Gauteng department of infrastructure will next week provide an update on the investigation into the Charlotte Maxeke hospital’s roof collapse, spokesperson Theo Nkonki confirmed to The Citizen on Friday.
Pandemonium broke out at the facility on Thursday afternoon when a section of the roof collapsed, leaving five people injured and others trapped under rubble.
Several patients had to be evacuated while others scrambled in the dark to safety. Sections of the hospital was plunged into darkness because the collapse caused the electricity to cut out.
Officials from the provincial government, including the MECs for health and infrastructure, visited the facility on Friday to ensure that everything had returned to normal.
Speaking to Saturday Citizen on Friday, Nkonki said MEC Jacob Mamabolo had announced that investigations included looking into the contract with the maintenance company.
“Preliminary investigations suggest there is a case of negligence that needs to be answered because it was found that the guys who were busy with maintenance work, had stockpiled stones on the roof without checking the strength of the roof,” Nkonki said.
The DA’s shadow MEC for Health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, meanwhile has called for an independent investigation, saying a structural engineering assessment must urgently be done into other areas of the hospital which might be in danger of collapse.
“There was a report in 2012 that had warned about structural problems in the building. And staff have complained for years about roofs that leak water and sewage,” Bloom said.
“In March last year, I identified problem areas in the hospital. And last week the hospital’s Poly 3 dental clinic had to be evacuated because parts of the ceiling collapsed,” Bloom said.
Bloom said he will be asking questions in the Gauteng Legislature about the contractor involved in the repair of the roof where the collapse had occurred.