The Gauteng government is taking legal action against the company said to be responsible for the roof collapse this year at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
Provincial MEC for infrastucture development Jacob Mamabolo said yesterday his department placed the blame squarely on Thandzanani Trading Enterprise – which is understood to have several contracts with government – for causing the collapse at the 40-year-old hospital.
In 2012, a report on facilities at the hospital warned that the X-ray department was likely to collapse and should be evacuated. According to Mamabolo, a report completed by law firm Adams and Adams found that Thandzanani was negligent while performing a waterproofing project at the hospital which led to the collapse.
It found that the roof collapse, which left five people injured, was caused by an overloading of crushed rocks, which were meant to have been removed from the site.
“Regrettably the crushed stone was stockpiled instead of taken off the roof through a chute that had been erected for that purpose. The excessive load on the roof above the foyer of the entrance caused the roof to collapse,” he said.
Thandzanani could not be reached for comment.
While the department was able to terminate the contract between itself and Thandzanani for the project at the hospital, it said it was unable to unilaterally oust them from other contracts.
“We have also asked for advice on their subsequent work in other areas and the advice we got was that we will have to deal with each project on its merit,” said Mamabolo.
He added that the unfortunate incident had also emphasised the need to review and improve the processes which led to the appointment of contractors to perform work for the department.
This review, he said, started well before the incident at Charlotte Maxeke and would be concluded as a matter of urgency.