As authorities scramble to identify cause of Joburg CBD explosion, concerns rise over competence of those in charge

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi. File Picture

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi. File Picture

Published Jul 20, 2023


Authorities are scrambling to find answers regarding the recent Joburg CBD explosion that killed one person and injured 48 others.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, at a press briefing on Thursday, admitted that the lack of information concerning the cause of the blast is raising questions about the competence of the authorities.

"The team must give us answers as soon as possible on which systems are affected. If the systems are not affected, we can restore electricity and water services quickly. However, we are stuck because we don't know the cause," said Lesufi.

He added, "We cannot have this kind of an explosion and not know why. That alone creates doubts, uncertainty, and questions about the capabilities we possess as a State."

As investigators work to uncover the cause, Lesufi assured that once it's found, appropriate measures will be taken to support the people affected by the blast.

Updating on the number of victims, Lesufi confirmed that 48 people were injured, with 12 still in the hospital.

The injured were taken to hospitals including Hillbrow, Mulbarton, Garden City, South Rand, and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Additionally, 34 vehicles, primarily minibus taxis, were affected by the explosion. Most have been returned to their owners, but seven severely damaged vehicles remain at the scene for the ongoing investigation.