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Identify and Prevent Structural Collapses Proactively

by Admin | 14 March 2019

You and your loved ones enter structures of some sort every day; schools, hospitals, offices, malls, factories, construction sites, parking lots, fuel service station, restaurants etc. We all assume that it is safe and stable... But what if... just what if... it disappears… collapses from underneath or above you? South Africa is not estranged to structural collapse. You might recall the wall collapse in the parking lot at a Stellenbosch Mall, the Lily Mine incident in Barberton where a crown pillar collapsed, Newscafe incident in Woodmead, Phumlani Mall incident, M1 Bridge collapse, Tongaat Mall collapse, Meyersdal Eco Estate incident and the High-School Driehoek incident being the latest one.


The common reasons why structures collapse is:

  1. Structures were inadequately designed,
  2. Erected incorrectly,
  3. Not properly maintained,
  4. Quality building materials substituted for lessor quality materials,
  5. Worker / Supervisor errors,
  6. Overloading of the structure,
  7. Poor drainage,
  8. Inadequate consideration for external factors,
  9. Deviation from specifications,
  10. Vandalism and sabotage.


There is not much you can do yourself except for reporting anything out of the ordinary to the property owner or property manager. Buildings require regular inspection in accordance with construction regulation 11. The aforementioned regulation details the following:


11 (2) An owner of a structure must ensure that-

(a) inspections of that structure are carried out periodically by competent persons in order to render the structure safe for continued use;

(b) that the inspections contemplated in paragraph (a) are carried out at least once every six months for the first two years and thereafter yearly;

(c) the structure is maintained in such a manner that it remains safe for continued use;

(d) the records of inspections and maintenance are kept and made available on request to an inspector.


Knowing this now…… Do you think that the aforementioned incidents could have been prevented?


For further advise please contact our offices at 021 820 7060

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