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Speaker of Johannesburg council calls for demolition and rebuilding of metro centre due to safety concerns



The speaker of the Johannesburg City Council, Colleen Makhubele, has called for demolishing and rebuilding the council buildings in the city centre due to non-compliance with occupational health and safety standards. Makhubele said that several reports indicated that the buildings were unsuitable for occupation and could collapse at any time, presenting a severe risk to those working inside as reported by IOL.

She had previously raised the issue with the mayor, Thapelo Amad, and his predecessor, Mpho Phalatse. Makhubele stated that if the executive did not take action, she would have to bring a compliance enforcement report to evacuate the building before any harm was done.

Makhubele added that the structures attached to the council chambers should be demolished and rebuilt since the council chambers were still newer. She also noted that the Emergency Services were investigating the cause of a fire on Friday and that once she received the report, she would communicate to councillors and staff about the cause.

The Star newspaper obtained a report on the safety of the building, which revealed that the sprinkler heads in blocks A and B, which were over 20 years old, needed to be replaced.

A routine maintenance program to examine internal and external corrosion of the sprinkler heads, which was supposed to be conducted every 15 years, still needs to be carried out.


Additionally, a routine program to test the sprinkler heads every 25 years was also not conducted. As a result, some sprinkler pipes and fittings are corroded, which may lead to pipe bursts during emergencies.

Workers at the Metro Centre had also complained that sometimes the building did not have water and that the toilets were blocked.

The DA caucus in the city expressed concern about the building’s safety, with councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba stating that the city was experiencing political instability, affecting its administration. She added that the metro centre was a great concern for all who work and do business there, and the DA caucus would take up the issue.

Photo by Jacques Nel on Unsplash

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