Bank of Lisbon building. File photo: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress in Gauteng has welcomed the commitment by the Gauteng government that no worker will be placed in buildings not compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The ANC caucus sub-committee on infrastructure development is deeply saddened by the tragic fire at the Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg, which housed the offices of the Gauteng health depart, and which resulted in the deaths of three firefighters, sub-committee chairperson Lindi Lasindwa said in a statement on Saturday.

"We salute these heroic firefighters who paid the supreme sacrifice in service to our people. We also express our gratitude to all the rescue teams who successfully managed to safely evacuate 1115 employees. We wish all the injured firefighters and employees a speedy recovery," Lasindwa said.

It was "uncouth" for the DA to use this tragic event for "cheap politicking", and the sub-committee called for "maximum restraint[t] as we come to terms with this tragic event".

"We welcome [the] commitment by the Gauteng provincial government that no worker will be placed in buildings that are not compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It is the duty of government to ensure that workers' lives are not unnecessarily endangered due to non-compliance to occupational safety."

The sub-committee commended the swift response by the leadership of the Gauteng government in dealing with the situation and called on the government to ensure that no effort was spared in "dealing harshly with those responsible", Lasindwa said.

African News Agency (ANA)