The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice) has expressed its support for an immediate full review of school buildings by competent structural engineers, following the collapse, on February 1, of a concrete slab at Hoërskool Driekhoek, in Vanderbijlpark.
Concrete elements of a pathway, which connected two buildings at the school, collapsed, claiming the lives of four children and injuring 25 more.
Saice pointed out in a statement on Monday that the Bill of Rights in South Africa’s Constitution gives everyone the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, with legislation in place to give effect to this right concerning structures.
National building regulations require a competent person to design the structural elements of buildings and to inspect their construction. Competent persons are also required to undertake yearly inspections of structures to ensure they are safe for continued use.
The owner of the structure is required by law to appoint competent persons to undertake the designs and inspections over the life of a structure, noted Saice.