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Tongaat Mall concrete ‘not tested’

Durban -

Strength tests were never carried out on the concrete used in the columns supporting the ill-fated Tongaat Mall, a commission of inquiry heard on Wednesday.

A commission of inquiry into the deadly collapse of the partly-built Tongaat Mall is currently sitting. Credit: SUPPLIED

Ronnie Pillay, a foreman at Gralio Precast (Pty) Ltd, told the labour department inquiry investigating the collapse that he was never aware of the results of any of the tests carried out on concrete that was poured at the construction site.

He was unable to answer the department's occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha's question as to why no tests had been carried out on the columns.

Maphaha asked Pillay if he was aware that tests carried out at the time of construction on the concrete strength of the slabs and beams were below the required 30 mega-pascals required.

“They didn't bring it to our attention that the concrete was not to the right strength,” he said.

At the time of building, concrete strength testing had been carried out by a company called Contests - but only on the slabs and the beams.

Two people were killed and 29 injured on November 19 last year.

In June this year it emerged that some of the results of tests carried out by Contest failed to even reach a third of the strength required.

Pillay said that had there been a problem with the concrete, he believed that he would have been informed.

He said he could not explain the tests results as he was not responsible for the mixing of the concrete.

Pillay said that he was not aware that the weakest concrete from tests carried out after the accident came from concrete that had been mixed by Gralio. - Sapa

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