George

President Cyril Ramaphosa in George, Western Cape. Image: George Municipality

George building collapse: Government to compensate victims’ families

President Cyril Ramaphosa says government will assist with the burial of the people who died when a building collapsed in George.

George

President Cyril Ramaphosa in George, Western Cape. Image: George Municipality

President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that government will compensate injured workers and assist with the burial of the people who died when a building under construction collapsed in George, Western Cape.

Ramaphosa revealed this following a visit to 75 Victoria Street in George, on Thursday, 16 May, where a five-storey building collapsed on Monday, 6 May.

GOVERNMENT TO COMPENSATE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE VICTIMS 

During the site visit, President Ramaphosa briefed various people involved in the rescue and dealing with all aspects of the disaster. 

These include a number of Ministers and Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, who received an update on the extent of the work done and support that has been provided for the families since the disaster struck.

Ramaphosa also assured that there will be assistance for those in hospital and there will be assistance for those who have to be buried

“Yes, there will also be compensation that will have to go through the various channels of our various institutions because this was a work situation, everything has to be looked at to see the extent to which compensation can be made available [sic],” he said. 

South African labour laws state that if a worker gets injured, contract a disease or die while working, the worker or their dependants can claim from the Compensation Fund.

The fund pays compensation to permanent and casual workers, trainees and apprentices who are injured or contract a disease in the course of their work and lose income as a result.

AVBOB TO ASSIST WITH BURIAL 

During the briefing, the President assured the bereaved families that the government would leave no stone unturned and ensure accountability.

The President also offered his condolences to the bereaved families and wished those in hospital a speedy recovery. 

“We are currently focusing on saving lives, caring for the injured, making sure that the remains of those who have lost their lives, are well put together so that those who need to be repatriated can be repatriated, and those who need to be buried here can also be buried,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Gert Niehaus from AVBOB who was also in George confirmed that they will assist with the burial of the victims. 

Niehaus said families must pay transportation costs if the funeral is held in another province. 

As of Thursday night, the confirmed statistics for the incident in George are:

  • Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
  • Rescued and recovered: 62
  • Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, six females)
  • Currently hospitalised: 12
  • Unaccounted for: 19