Date: 4 February 2019

The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the bereaved as well as all those involved in the tragic incident at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark. Concrete elements of a pathway, which connected two buildings at the school, collapsed killing four children and injuring 25 more.

The Bill of Rights in our Constitution gives everyone the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being. Legislation is in place to give effect to this right in so far as structures are concerned. National Building Regulations require a competent person to design the structural elements of buildings and to inspect their construction. Competent persons are also required by the Construction Regulations to annually inspect structures to ensure that they are safe for continued use. The owner of the structure is required by law to appoint competent persons to undertake the designs and inspections over the life of a structure.

At this stage it is too early to say what the specific causes of this failure were. A thorough investigation will reveal the immediate causes and the circumstances that preceded them.

SAICE supports an immediate full review of school buildings by Competent Structural Engineers in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act Construction Regulations Cl 11(2).


Issued by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE)

For more information please contact:

Nadeena Le’ Tang

Tel: 011 805 5947 / 071 008 2052                             




  1. Please amend the article to read “Hoërskool Driehoek”. Our institution should be taken seriously and our inputs should be valued by government and the broader public…therefore we owe it to them to spell correctly.

  2. WHY doesn’t council enforce the LAW . Too much corruption going on at council. We have all these regulations – but UNFORTUNATELY council does nothing, even when we inform them – they turn a BLIND eye. Things only get done when there is an accident / fatality and the cr_p hits the fan. I feel sorry for the families of the deceased – this is an accident that should not have happened. Kids go to school to learn – they do not go to get killed….so unfortunate.

    Hopefully the Government will now pull up their socks.

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