The tragic drowning of 11-year-old Simphiwe Moloi at an unbarricaded site controlled by Johannesburg Water has sparked outrage and grief within the community, prompting the Moloi family to demand accountability from the City of Johannesburg, Joburg Water, and its contractor. Simphiwe, a Grade Five learner, lost his life over the weekend while reportedly playing with friends near a shaft at a Johannesburg Water contractor site in Mofolo South.
The family believes that Simphiwe was attempting to retrieve a soccer ball that had fallen into a pool of groundwater at the site. Despite efforts from community members to rescue him, the murky water made the situation impossible. The family was left waiting for police and emergency personnel to arrive, and it was only with the assistance of a rescue team that they eventually recovered Simphiwe’s body.
Amahle Moloi, Simphiwe’s aunt, recounted the tragic events and expressed the family’s concerns about the lack of safety measures at the site. She questioned why the area had not been barricaded or fenced off to prevent access, especially given the presence of dangerous water bodies. The absence of communication and support from the responsible parties compounds the family’s grief. The family is determined to seek justice for Simphiwe and hold those responsible for the site’s lack of safety measures accountable.
Despite the family’s demands for answers and action, Johannesburg Water and the contractor have remained silent due to ongoing investigations. The Department of Employment and Labour is also conducting an independent inquiry into the incident, adding another layer to the search for answers.
As the Moloi family mourns the tragic loss of young Simphiwe, the incident has ignited a broader conversation about the safety of construction sites and the responsibility of authorities to ensure proper precautions are in place. This heartbreaking incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of enforcing safety protocols to prevent such accidents and protect the lives of innocent individuals.
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