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Partial roof collapse at Potchefstroom court docket ‘a wake-up name’ – aggrieved employees

A brief court docket session exterior the Potchefstroom Justice of the Peace’s Court docket.

  • Employees allege their complaints in regards to the Potchefstroom Justice of the Peace’s Court docket constructing haven’t been taken severely.
  • Elements of the roof collapsed just lately, leaving employees and the general public stranded.
  • The general public works division claimed it was frequently sustaining the constructing.

Individuals who work on the Potchefstroom Justice of the Peace’s Court docket say a partial collapse of the roof this week was attributable to an absence of upkeep, however the Division of Public Works says the constructing was inspected lower than a 12 months in the past and a contractor has been on web site.

Employees who spoke to News24 on situation of anonymity claimed the constructing was final inspected a few decade in the past.

Elements of the roof collapsed on Monday afternoon, leaving employees and scores of individuals stranded.

On Wednesday, many individuals gathered exterior the constructing, ready for his or her circumstances to be known as.

Awaiting-trialists may additionally not be dropped at court docket.

Some members of the general public, particularly these exterior the constructing, had been seen gathering in teams as they got their subsequent court docket appearances.

A brief court docket session occurred below a tree on the garden exterior.

Employees wearing orange overalls had been seen carrying rubble from the collapsed roof, emptying it into waste bins exterior the primary entrance.

The collapsed roof affected the money corridor, workplaces utilized by officers coping with baby upkeep and the civil court docket clerk.

READ | How Potchefstroom court’s partial roof collapse has inconvenienced many people

“This example may have been averted. The division ignored its tasks. I’ve been working right here for a few years and have by no means seen an inspection carried out right here,” one worker claimed.

“This constructing is outdated. It wants common upkeep. What occurred on Monday was a wake-up name. One thing huge goes to occur ought to the federal government proceed ignoring their tasks.”

One other employee claimed their lives and well being had been in danger.

“We do not know when the tragedy goes to occur. We’re observing that this constructing is decaying, and the infrastructure is just not maintained. At some point, this whole constructing goes to break down.

“I pray that ought to it occur; it should occur when there is no such thing as a one inside. The constructing is changing into hazardous. We’ve got been complaining to our senior who ignored us,” she mentioned.


Workers complained about:

  • Having to share bogs with the general public.
  • Ceiling boards are failing.
  • Water drips via the ceiling when it rains.
  • Scarcity of water for ingesting and flushing bogs.
  • Cracked partitions.
  • Defective electrical lights.
  • Emergency doorways are allegedly locked.
  • No backup for electrical energy in case of load shedding or energy outages.
  • Lack of cameras all through your entire constructing.

Public works spokesperson Thamsanqa Mchunu confirmed that there was no electrical energy backup and safety cameras, saying this wanted separate funding from the Division of Justice and Correctional Providers.

Mchunu added the ceiling fell due to a roof leak “however there aren’t any cracking partitions. The emergency doorways are usually not at all times locked.

“It’s not true that employees and the general public use the identical bogs. There are separate bogs for the general public and officers. There is no such thing as a scarcity of ingesting and flushing water. In reality, there’s even a water tank on the roof.”

Mchunu mentioned the constructing was final inspected on 25 November 2021.

He added on 27 February 2020, public works handed the positioning to the contractor to hold out upkeep on your entire constructing.

“Then Covid-19 lockdown rules disrupted the venture. When the contractor got here again on web site, the native enterprise discussion board intimidated the employees, and that added to the delay.

“The constructing needs to be inspected every year. The contractor has been on web site since 1 August 2022, fixing these challenges, however the interruptions by the enterprise discussion board are persevering with, inflicting additional delays. The police are conscious of this downside. Three folks have been arrested,” Mchunu mentioned.

He added public works had issued a report developed by the architect to the labour division.

The report declared it was protected to proceed to work within the constructing, besides within the space the place a part of the roof had collapsed. 

“It’s price noting that the collapsed a part of the roof is just not a part of the constructing the place the contractor was working,” mentioned Mchunu.

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