FROM: THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERING (SAICE)
Date: 19 April 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 Pentecostal Church in Dlangubo.
A large brick gable wall collapsed onto sleeping congregants following a service.
Heavy winds and rain were reported in the area prior to the collapse.
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. The owner of the structure is also required by law to appoint competent persons to undertake routine inspections and carry out any necessary maintenance 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.
It is however not unusual, in cases such as this, to find that inadequate framing of the large brickwork panel together with possible undermining of the footings, due to inadequate stormwater drainage, are significant contributors to a collapse.
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