M1 Bridge collapseThe sitting of the M1/Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry that was scheduled for end of March has been postponed.

The Department of Labour announced that the proceedings that were scheduled from 27 March 2017 to 4 May 2017 have been postponed due to technical challenges affecting the proceedings. However the dates scheduled from 4 of May until 9 June 2017 will continue as scheduled.

Presiding Officer Lennie Samuel noted: “The postponement and delay is beyond our control and is regretted.”

Proceedings of the Inquiry were brought to a halt on 29 August 2016 by Samuel when one of the interested parties had made a request for additional information from an expert witness representing Form-Scaff on short notice. The expert witness in question was still on the stand providing testimony.

The Inquiry felt the request could not be acceded to because the information requested could not be secured immediately as the witness was residing abroad.

Form-Scaff was one of the role players in the construction of a walkway bridge that was built to link Sandton and Alexandra. The bridge collapsed on 14 October 2015, leaving two dead and 19 other injured.

Other interested parties involved were the City of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Development Agency who were clients that appointed Royal HaskoningDHV as an agent. Murray & Roberts is the principal contractor and the supplier of material. These companies, together with workers and unions are lined-up to testify before the inquiry.

Expected to testify when the inquiry resumes is a witness on behalf of FormScaff, Gary Farrow, a mechanical engineer from Australia. To date four witnesses representing Murray & Roberts have testified. More testimony is still expected from Murray & Roberts, Form Scaff, Royal HaskoningDHV, consultants and the JDA.

The M1/Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse Inquiry is mandated to investigate but, not limited to the following:

  • The responsibility of the client in terms of construction regulations
  • The responsibility of the principal constructor in terms of the construction regulations and as an employer
  • The responsibility of the agent on behalf of the client in terms of the same regulations
  • Supplier of materials
  • Design