NUMSA statement on M1 Bridge collapse in Sandton

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) sends its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the two victims that died tragically due to the collapse of a temporary bridge on the M1 Highway, alongside Grayston off-ramp in Sandton.
This unfortunate incident has left approximately fifteen people injured, and others in critical conditions in hospitals.
Any loss of life is very saddening and painful to bear. Too many workers in South Africa are losing their lives in the workplace due to hazardous working conditions and unsafe standards. The end result of such is the socio-economic burden or hardship, amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality, to be felt by the victims’ families, after tragically losing a breadwinner.
This tragic incident calls on government, particularly the Department of Labour (DoL) to strengthen its capacity to monitor and institute appropriate actions against companies that do not comply with safety standards in their respective workplaces.
Whilst we welcome the public pronouncements by Murray & Roberts, which they will work closely and fully cooperate with the investigation by the Department of Labour (DoL). We demand the investigation team to be inclusive of Labour, so that workers are not used as a scapegoat. Furthermore, we strongly believe that the outcomes of the investigation should be made public, and those responsible should be prosecuted.
As Numsa, we are interacting with our members working at the M1 Highway bridge, and we will provide them with all the necessary support their might need from the union.
Viwe James
National Infrastructure Coordinator
M: 072 243 2992