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Structural collapse in illegally occupied factory leads to death of two children

In the early hours of this morning, the Department of Public Safety (EMS, JMPD and Disaster Management) responded to a structural collapse incident on 11th Road in Kew inside an old factory building that is illegally occupied by shack dwellers.
Upon arrival at the scene, the EMS Urban Search and Rescue Team, conducted a search operation of the premises, and sadly recovered the bodies of two children – a boy (aged one) and a girl (eleven years old).

Interim investigations indicate that the building collapse was caused by a new - but illegally built - wall inside the factory which houses approximately 109 shack dwellers.

In total, five dwellings were damaged due to the collapse. The building in its entirety remains in an unstable condition and an immediate evacuation is necessary. The Disaster Management Unit has also mobilized Building Control to further investigate the cause of the collapse and to determine the state of structural safety.

I was at the scene this morning, and I am deeply saddened by the loss of the young lives. This again highlights the dire need of affordable housing in the City.

I conveyed sincere condolences to the family of the deceased children on behalf of the City and Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba.

We will be assisting the displaced residents with alternative temporary shelter.

We call upon the owners of private buildings to take responsibility of their properties to ensure illegal occupation of their buildings are prevented.

The City's relevant departments will also conduct a Needs-Analysis of the affected families and provide social and relief assistance.

An inquest will be conducted by SAPS and relevant authorities to determine the cause of the death of the two children.

For more details please contact: 
Luyanda Longwe 
Stakeholder Manager: Office of the MMC for Public Safety 
061 4960 536