PICS: One person dies, two seriously injured in Pretoria building collapse

One person died and two others sustained serious injuries after a steel structure collapsed at the Jakaranda Shopping Centre in Gezina, north of Pretoria on Thursday.

Initial reports indicate that 10 people, presumably employees at the construction site, sustained minor injuries during the collapse and were treated by medical personnel on-site.

The steel structure is reported to have collapsed during the pouring of concrete with the construction of a two-tier parking facility for the centre.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) said in a statement on Friday: “The PIC and its Board wish to express its sincerest condolences and sympathies to the family of the deceased who, according to preliminary reports, was employed by the contractor on site. The loss of life and injury to construction employees are deeply regrettable. The PIC is in the process of urgently establishing the facts of today’s accident and will fully cooperate with investigations from the City of Tshwane or any regulatory authority that will be instituted in due course.

“The Jakaranda Shopping Centre was built in the early 1970s and was last renovated in 2002. It had become dilapidated, necessitating an overhaul to re-establish it as a key destination Centre in the Moot area. The PIC, on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), acquired Jakaranda as part of its property portfolio in 2007.”

According to the PIC, a R358 million investment had previously been approved for a redevelopment of the centre. The development was designed to increase the centre’s Gross-Lettable-Area from 18 407m² to 20 369m² and the current parking ratio and security, upgrade surrounding the apartments and the external façade and entrances to improve accessibility.

While the construction and redevelopment was expected to be completed by March next year, the structural collapse may cause delays.

“The PIC is awaiting a full incident report form the Project Manager as the Principal Agent on the job, in order to establish the facts. The PIC will further engage its internal PIC division (Legal, Risk etc) to further investigate and decide on what corrective steps will be required.”

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