Relevant oversight committees have been deployed by Parliament to oversee not only the immediate and long-term relief efforts of various branches of government, but will also investigate building hijacking within the City of Johannesburg.
The Presiding Officers of Parliament, Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Chairperson Amos Masondo, announced its commitment to parliamentary intervention in response to the Johannesburg tragic fire disaster that has resulted in over 70 deaths, multiple injuries, and the displacement of over 300 people.
“These committees will also look into the distressing phenomenon of building hijacking within the city, a grave concern that demands urgent attention,” they said in a statement.
“According to Parliament, the assigned committees will also investigate the conditions of both private and government-owned buildings, focusing on their compliance with safety regulations,” the statement read.
“This effort, it said, aimed to identify any gaps and ensure appropriate intervention to address ‘deficiencies’ that could jeopardise the safety and lives of residents. It is of utmost importance that the conditions leading to a disaster of this magnitude are thoroughly examined and comprehensively addressed.
“Thoroughly examining and addressing the conditions leading to this will prevent future incidents, restore public confidence, and drive systemic improvements that enhance overall safety and prevent potential disasters,” the statement read.
The death toll from the hijacked Usindiso Building has now risen to 77, while more than 30 patients are still being treated in different facilities in Gauteng.
“Out of the 88 patients that were seen at various health facilities - Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Helen Joseph Hospital, South Rand Hospital, Tembisa Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital and Hillbrow Community Health Centre - only 31 people are still receiving care,” said Gauteng Department of Health’s spokesperson Motalatale Modiba.
Parliament conveyed its condolences to the affected families, and also acknowledged and saluted the dedication of the firefighters and healthcare professionals who displayed exceptional courage and unwavering commitment in the face of adversity.
“Their tireless efforts stand as a testament to the resilience and unity of our nation during trying times,” Parliament said.