Grayston bridge collapse probe will take at least 6 months

Thomas Hartleb, News24

Pretoria – The labour department’s inquiry into the M1 bridge collapse that killed 2 people will take at least 6 months to complete.

“We have already started preparations for the formal inquiry. We are looking at anything from 6 months,” the labour department’s chief inspector Tibor Szana told reporters in Pretoria.

Evidence was being collected and many parties would be involved in the probe. The structure’s engineering drawings were among the factors the inquiry would take a close look at, he said.

The people who would form part of the department’s inquiry were still being appointed.

Szana would not comment on speculation that a cement truck crashed into the structure, causing it to topple.

“At this stage of the game we are not pointing a finger at anyone," he said.

The inquiry was intended to be a neutral forum that would gather evidence. This would be presented to the National Prosecuting Authority for a decision on whether someone could be criminally charged.

The scope of the inquiry would include the roles played by the City of Johannesburg, which commissioned the bridge, construction company Murray & Roberts, and the materials used.

The structure collapsed onto the M1 at Grayston Drive around 15:30 on Wednesday, October 14. The driver of a minibus taxi and a man in a Toyota Fortuner were killed. Nineteen people were injured. Three of them were still in a critical condition in hospital, the department’s deputy director general Aggy Moiloa said.

The scaffolding that collapsed was a support structure for what was intended to be a pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting Alexandra and Sandton.