Mayor Mashaba Probes Johannesburg City’s Contractors


The City of Johannesburg wants an investigation into contractors involved in building some of the houses damaged during a violent storm and heavy rainfall that ripped through parts of the city and outlying areas on Saturday afternoon, leaving two people dead.

A number of incidents were reported in parts of the south and west of Johannesburg as a result of the storm, including the structural collapse of parts of the roof and subsequent flooding at the Trade Route Mall in Lenasia.

The storm uprooted trees which closed certain roads and also damaged houses, blowing off roofs, and vehicles in various areas, especially in Protea Glen in Soweto. Six people were also injured in a minibus taxi crash on the N12 near Impala Road, while several other minor crashes during the storm were reported.

On Sunday, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said the city’s group risk advisory services would conduct a full risk assessment of the damage caused by the storm and a preliminary report was expected to be released by Friday. The report would contain the full extent of the damage caused by the storm and whether the event needed to be declared a provincial or national disaster.

Earlier on Sunday, Mashaba conducted an inspection of the damage caused by the storm in Lenasia, Soweto, and Westbury. He also met provincial disaster centre officials and Gauteng provincial departments to chart a way forward for displaced residents. The provincial government was currently providing tents and temporary shelter, food parcels, and blankets to displaced residents. 

Mashaba said a multi-organisational approach was necessary to address the matter.

“Further to this, the city’s group risk advisory services will also conduct an investigation into the quality of some of the buildings which collapsed as a result of the storm, particularly the identities of contractors involved in the construction of some of these buildings; the city’s role in issuing certificates of occupation which affirm the safety of these buildings; and the role of financial institutions, such as lenders and banks, who fund construction of some of these poor buildings,” Mashaba said.

This investigation was expected to be completed within the next 60 days. Meanwhile, City Parks and other similar entities were currently clearing debris, stones, and other material blown onto roads during the storm, while the Johannesburg Roads Agency was assessing traffic lights and roads to restore the city to normality.

Earlier, Gauteng infrastructure development MEC Jacob Mamabolo said reports had been received that two people had died in Lenasia when a tree fell on top of their car as they were travelling.

– African News Agency (ANA)