Grayston drive pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry comes to a halt amidst technical glitches

The sitting of the Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry expected to sit for three days from today (04 May 2016) was postponed due to “untold” challenges faced by the Commission.

Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry Presiding Officer, Lennie Samuel told the third sitting that every time the Commission meets it experiences “untold” challenges. Samuel said the issues faced today by the Commission were beyond his control.

“We have had a series of communication with various stakeholders to the inquiry. We have also made sufficient progress to date. We have now received expert reports from Formscaff and Murray & Roberts. The rest of the parties have submitted statements”.

Two experts from Formscaff were expected to give evidence today before the Inquiry.

Samuel told the briefing today that a total of 20 witnesses are lined up to testify before the Inquiry. He said because the Inquiry was not able to sit today due to unexpected glitches it would be expected to sit again on 07 July 2016 at a venue to be confirmed in due course.

The Inquiry was set up after the collapse of the temporary bridge structure at the M1 Grayston Drive. The collapse of the bridge structure to link Sandton and Alexandra led to the deaths of two people and injury to 19 others.

The fatal incident happened on 14 October 2015 at approximately 15:25. Following the Incident, the Department of Labour set up a section 32 inquiry in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act to investigate instances of negligence and contravention of safety legislation.

The Commission’s mandate will focus on: the responsibility of the principal constructor in terms of the construction regulations and as an employer, the responsibility of the client in terms of construction regulations, the responsibility of the agent on behalf of the client in terms of the same regulations, supplier of the materials and design.

Some of the interested role players/witnesses that are expected to testify during the Inquiry include engineers, construction firm Murray & Roberts, the City of Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Development Agency, Royal HaskoningDHV, Formscaff, Engineering Council of South Africa, and the National Union of Mineworkers.

Source: Department of Labour Communication Directorate