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Press Release Archive

MEDIA STATEMENT: 15:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 17 May 2024 at 15:30

The rescue and recovery operations for the building collapse site lasted 260 hours.

SITE HANDOVER CONCLUDED

Search and rescue efforts are completed. Consequently, the site is classified as a crime scene and has officially been handed over for a formal investigation by the South African Police Service (SAPS) who will hand it over to the Department of Labour and Employment for their formal investigation to be conducted.

RESCUE OPERATIONS CONCLUDE WITH MANY SAVED, SOME DECEASED

The success of the rescue efforts undertaken after the building collapse, can be largely attributed to the critical actions taken during the first 48-hours. During this period, rescuers performed their operations with remarkable precision by ensuring victims were safely removed from the incident. This swift foundational phase was also carefully coordinated from a Joint Operations Centre on-site and a Multi-Agency Command Centre at the Garden Route District Municipality.

The Multi-Agency Command Centre can only account for those who were recovered during the search and rescue operations from the scene. This is why approximate totals were used as each minute unfolded.

Based on information received from the contractor on site, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other emerging external sources (witness statements), the estimated number of individuals on site during the incident amounted to approximately 81. We are aware that as the incident unfolded the numbers fluctuated, however we can now officially confirm that with the rescue and recovery efforts now completed, only 62 individuals are accounted for.

The difference between the approximate of people on site and the official number now confirmed can be attributed to the following ABCs:
A) We found that some of the names on the contractor’s list were duplicated
B) Official investigations by SAPS confirmed that some of those on the contractor’s list were not at work on the day of the incident
C) CCTV clearly proved that some of those on the site left before the first responders reached the site and to date they have never reported their whereabouts.

Report history:
75 (approximate on-site) reported from 6 May 2024, 21:00 until 9 May 2024 at 06:00
81 (approximate on-site) reported from 9 May 2024, 6:30am until 16 May 2024 at 21:00
62 (confirmed on-site) reported on 17 May 2024, 09:00 at the end of the rescue and recovery operations.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Deceased: 33
* Of the 33 deceased, two (2) still to be formally identified
* Hospitalised: 10
* Discharged: 19

List of nationalities present on the incident site:
* South Africa: 15
* Mozambique: 19
* Zimbabwe: 7
* Malawi: 13
* Lesotho: 5
* Permanent Residency Holder: 1
* Unknown nationality: 2

Repatriations are being undertaken by the Consulates of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho.

Feature Photograph: South African Police Service

Additional Photo: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

Joint Media Release: George building collapse rescue and recovery operation concluded

Issued on behalf of the Western Cape Government

“Today we concluded the George building collapse rescue and recovery operation,” said Anton Bredell Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning. Minister Bredell added that this disaster will be remembered for the immense and tragic loss of life, but also for the incredibly brave and selfless work carried out by the more than 1 000 rescue, support, and volunteer workers who were involved since Monday, 6 May, when the incident occurred.

The rescue operation saw more than 6 000 tons of rubble being carefully removed while rescue workers searched for survivors. The operation lasted 260 hours, with personnel working on a 24-hour basis, with 2 shifts on rotation.

Premier Alan Winde said, “This has been an exceptionally difficult time for us all. But through it all, our disaster management workers and volunteers persevered with the sole aim of saving the lives of as many people as possible. My heartfelt condolences go to the families of the 33 victims. We share your pain and will do everything we can to hold those responsible for this tragedy accountable.”

Minister Bredell confirmed that the numbers of people involved in the collapse were:

62 people were on the building site when the collapse occurred;
34 people were successfully rescued;
33 people passed away, including 5 people who were rescued, but sadly succumbed to their injuries in hospital;
10 people are still in hospital, and 19 people have either been discharged or received on site medical treatment.

The Minister said that although there were several revisions to the number of people who were reported to be on site when the collapse happened and during the rescue operation; it is important to understand that rescue personnel had to work under extremely difficult conditions, with the information provided to them at the time based on information received from the contractor on site, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other emerging external sources. “I am very happy that we could revise the number of people on site down from 81 to 62, as it means fewer families are grieving today,” he stated.

Premier Winde concurred adding, “Our attention is now focused on the investigation that the Western Cape Government (WCG) launched just hours after the incident. This was a devastating tragedy. We need to understand what happened and what steps need to be taken to ensure that we do whatever we can to hold those who need to be held to account.”

An update on this investigation will be provided in due course.

“This operation saw a rescue rate of 54.8%, which is truly remarkable when compared with international statistics which indicate a rescue rate of only 10% during similar building collapse scenarios. This is testament to the brave and professional work of our rescue workers, and the result of years of investing and training in our provincial disaster capabilities, which are world-class. There were so many tough and difficult moments for our teams on the ground during this operation, and I am so proud of our team for every life saved. I know what it did for all of us when our teams pulled Gabriel from the rubble early on Saturday morning. And I must again recognise all the residents of this province who pulled together and showed immense compassion and support, thank you,” concluded Premier Winde.

MEDIA STATEMENT: 09:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 17 May 2024 at 09:00

Rescue and recovery operations at the 75 Victoria Street building collapse site in George will cease during the course of today and access to Victoria Street remains closed from York Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site for 259 hours.

Based on information received from the contractor on site, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other emerging external sources, the estimated number of individuals on site during the incident was 81. We are aware that as the rescue operation unfolded the numbers fluctuated, however we can now confirm that 62 individuals were either recovered or rescued which allows for a 54.8% rescue rate.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33
* Of deceased still to be formally identified: 4
* Alive (and/or hospitalized): 29

HANDOVER OF SITE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
The Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality are finalising preparations for the Department of Labour and Employment to take over the building collapse site to continue their formal investigation.

RESPECTING PATIENT PRIVACY IN MEDICAL FACILITIES
Members of the media and public are kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients who are still hospitalised and receiving treatment at medical facilities. Their dignity while they recover, should be observed, protected, and respected.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION
The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure, and an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government. Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation. The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT BY DSD
There is currently a Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) desk at the George Town hall, which is referring any family members or close relatives of the affected contract workers to their offices at York Park Building situated in York Street. For more information contact telephone number: 044 814 1920/21 / 072 4561 486.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months. Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEDIA/PUBLIC
Updates about the rescue and recovery operations are scaled down to three (3) updates per day at 9:00, 12:00 and 15:00.

The next update will be issued at 12:00.

Photograph Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

Media Release: SANRAL and Provincial Traffic collaborate to improve safety and mobility at high-risk intersection – N2 Knysna Road and Urbans Boulevard

Issued by George Municipality on behalf of SANRAL

Western Cape, 16 May 2024 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) and Western Cape Government Provincial Traffic are working together to improve safety and mobility during the R700 million upgrade of the N2 between Kraaibosch and Touw River, where a pointsman, supported by Provincial Traffic will be dedicated to direct traffic during peak travel times.

The current road improvement construction contract starts at Kraaibosch at the N2 George Interchange and ends at the Touw River, just past Wilderness. As part of the improvement contract, a 3km section of the N2 between Kraaibosch and the turn-off to Victoria Bay will be reconstructed as all pavement layers needs to be replaced. This section of road will also be widened in places to accommodate four lanes (two in each direction).

The existing intersection (previously a traffic circle), between Urbans Boulevard and Rademachers falls within this section of road. “Given the significant traffic volume, every effort is made to maintain two-way traffic and minimise one-way traffic accommodation sections by means of a Stop/Go traffic control,” said David Le Cordeur, SANRAL Project Manager.

“Furthermore, for the contractor to do the required work on this section of road, while maintaining two-way traffic, certain lanes needed to be closed. This resulted in the temporary removal of the traffic circle and replacing it with the existing intersection to Rademachers and the Urbans Boulevard. Once the road surface improvements have been completed, the traffic circle will be reconstructed.”
Le Cordeur explained that the N2 traffic currently has right of way with a 60 km/h speed limit and the adjoining traffic from Rademachers and the Urbans Boulevard is controlled by means of Stop signs.

“The frustration experienced by road users, particularly the adjoining traffic from Rademachers and Urbans Boulevard is noted and to this end, Provincial Traffic will henceforth be on site during peak travel times, to assist the contractor’s pointsman in directing the traffic at this intersection,” said Le Cordeur.

The contractor will also have flagmen in place to assist the pointsman, who will be in place between 07h00 and 17h30 on weekdays. However, if the traffic situation requires the availability of the pointsman for longer hours, this will be considered.
It is anticipated that the construction period will last for approximately seven months on this section of the road, and road users are encouraged to make provision for additional travel time between George and Wilderness.

Ends

MEDIA STATEMENT: 21:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 16 May 2024 at 21:00

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 16 May 2024 at 21:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are still underway on day ten (10) following the building collapse at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 247 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

So far, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

HANDOVER OF SITE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

The Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality are finalising preparations for the Department of Labour and Employment to take over the building collapse site to continue their formal investigation.

RESPECTING PATIENT PRIVACY IN MEDICAL FACILITIES

Members of the media and public are kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients who are still hospitalised and receiving treatment at medical facilities. Their dignity while they recover, should be observed, protected, and respected.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION

The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure, and an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government. Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation. The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

RESCUE WORKERS ON SITE

The highest number of role players on-site in a single day was 682. As of now, nearly 150 rescue workers and support staff remain committed on-site to the rescue and recovery operations.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6 months. Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

All families of the affected contract workers will from 10:00 am, tomorrow, 17 May, be routed to the Department of Social Development at the York Park Building situated on York Street. For more information contact telephone number: 044 814 1920/1 / 072 4561 486.

THANK YOU TO ALL ROLE PLAYERS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to the site today, and the Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Minister Anton Bredell, at the JOC this evening, respectively extended words of gratitude to all roleplayers for the excellent manner in which the entire incident was coordinated.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEDIA/PUBLIC

As from Friday, 17 May 2024 (tomorrow), updates about the rescue and recovery operations will be scaled down to and communicated from 6 updates to 3 updates per day at 9:00, 12:00 and 15:00.

The next update will be issued at 9:00, 17 May 2024 (tomorrow).

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 18:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 16 May 2024 at 18:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are still underway on day ten (10) following the building collapse at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 244 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

So far, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

HANDOVER OF SITE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

The Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality are finalising preparations for the Department of Labour and Employment to take over the building collapse site to continue their formal investigation.

RESPECTING PATIENT PRIVACY IN MEDICAL FACILITIES

Members of the media and public are kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients who are still hospitalised and receiving treatment at medical facilities. Their dignity while they recover, should be observed, protected and respected.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION

The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure as well as an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government. Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation. The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

RESCUE WORKERS ON SITE

The highest number of role players on-site in a single day was 682. As of now, nearly 150 rescue workers and support staff remain committed on-site to the rescue and recovery operations.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6 months. Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

The next update will be issued at 21:00, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 15:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 16 May 2024 at 15:00

Caption: The President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, took a moment to greet and thank all the rescue workers on site. Pictured is K9-unit’s Sergeant Makhosonke and to his right is Sergeant Kotze. The President was accompanied by the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, and various National and Provincial Minister.

Rescue and recovery efforts are on day ten (10), following the incident that took place at 75 Victoria Street on 6 May 2024. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 241 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

So far, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

The next update will be issued at 18:00, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 12:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 16 May 2024 at 12:00

Rescue and recovery efforts on day nine (9) will carry over to day ten (10) at 14:09 today 16 May, following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 237 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

The media is kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients still hospitalised/receiving treatment at medical facilities in George. Their dignity while they recuperate should be observed and respected.

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED
47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE
The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION
The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure as well as an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government. Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation. The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, is visiting the disaster site in George today with the Premier of the Western Cape, Hon. Alan Winde. They will be accompanied by several National and Provincial Ministers.

A media briefing is set for 13:00 in front of the foyer of the George Town Hall.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE
Donations for the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT
The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months. Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

The next update will be issued at 15:00 today, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 09:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 16 May 2024 at 09:00

Rescue and recovery efforts on day nine (9) will carry over to day ten (10) at 14:09, following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 235 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

So far, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

BUILDING RUBBLE REMOVAL

An estimated 2 500 tons of building rubble has been removed from the incident site, with approximately 500 tons still remaining. For the purposes of the rescue operation, the site has been divided into six sections. Two of these sections have not yet been fully cleared down to the basement level and that process continues to take place.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, is visiting the disaster site in George today with the Premier of the Western Cape, Hon. Alan Winde. They will be accompanied by several National and Provincial Ministers.

A media briefing is set for 13:00 in front of the foyer of the George Town Hall.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE

The George Municipality would like to provide details of how the public can support the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel with donations of drinking water, energy drinks, wine gums, or food for emergency services while they are on-site.

Donations may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

The next update will be issued at 12:00 midday today, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 06:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 16 May 2024 at 06:00

Efforts for rescue and recovery on day nine (9) will carry over to day ten (10) at 14:09, following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 232 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:

  • Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
  • Rescued and recovered: 62
  • Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
  • Currently hospitalised: 12
  • Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED
Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE
The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE
The George Municipality would like to provide details of how the public can support the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel with donations of drinking water, energy drinks, wine gums, or food for emergency services while they are on-site.

Donations may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, is visiting the disaster site in George today with the Premier of the Western Cape, Hon. Alan Winde. They will be accompanied by several National and Provincial Ministers. A media briefing is set for 13:00 in front of the George Municipality Civic Hall.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT
The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

The next update will be issued at 9:00am this morning, 16 May 2024.

 

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

 

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 21:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 15 May 2024 at 21:00

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 15 May 2024 at 21:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are continuing into day nine (9) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 223 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

DONATIONS TO FAMILIES

Today, several organisations, such as the Gift of the Givers, Makro, Lions Club, and Food Socks (feature image) and the Ghanian Community Association in George, provided food hampers and other items to families who are related to the workers who were present at the Victoria Street building collapse in George. The Multi-Agency Command Centre expresses its heartfelt gratitude and thank you to all these organisations for their generous acts of kindness.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE

The George Municipality would like to provide details of how the public can support the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel with donations of drinking water, energy drinks, wine gums, or food for emergency services while they are on-site.

Donations may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, will be visiting the disaster site in George, accompanied by a delegation of National Ministers, on Thursday, 16 May 2024 (tomorrow).

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

The next update will be issued at 6:00am tomorrow morning, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 18:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 15 May 2024 at 18:00

Several organisations provided food hampers and other items to families

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 15 May 2024 at 18:00

Rescue and recovery efforts have reached day nine (9) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 220 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

DONATIONS TO FAMILIES

Today, several organisations, such as the Gift of the Givers, Makro, Lions Club, and Food Socks (feature image) and the Ghanian Community Association in George, provided food hampers and other items to families who are related to the workers who were present at the Victoria Street building collapse in George. The Multi-Agency Command Centre expresses its heartfelt gratitude and thank you to all these organisations for their generous acts of kindness.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE

The George Municipality would like to provide details of how the public can support the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel with donations of drinking water, energy drinks, wine gums, or food for emergency services while they are on-site.

Donations may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, will be visiting the disaster site in George, accompanied by a delegation of National Ministers, on Thursday, 16 May 2024 (tomorrow).

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6 months.

The next update will be issued at 21:00 this evening, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

The Ghanian Community Association in George also generously donated various items to the families who are linked to victims of the Victoria Street building collapse. Fltr: Addai Evelyn, Linda Dotefe, Florence Afful, Benjamin Afedo, Josephine Fosuaa, Grace Sarfoa, Jacklin Bimpe, Henry Arhin, Esther Mayi, Owusu Amoah and Evans Asirifi.

MEDIA STATEMENT: 15:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 15 May 2024 at 15:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are at the beginning of day nine (9) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 217 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

DONATIONS TO FAMILIES

Today, several organisations, such as the Ghanian Community Association in George, Gift of the Givers, Makro, Lions Club, and Food Socks, provided food hampers to the families of the deceased workers. The Multi-Agency Command Centre expresses its heartfelt gratitude and thank you to all these organisations for their generous acts of kindness.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, will be visiting the disaster site in George, accompanied by a delegation of National Ministers, on Thursday, 16 May 2024 (tomorrow).

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

George Municipality confirms that the donations of fresh food received for the affected families who remain in the George Civic Centre are adequate. The families remain supported and provided with meals. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

The next update will be issued at 18:00 this afternoon, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 12:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Rescue and recovery efforts are nearing the end of day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 214 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Rhamaposa, will be visiting the disaster site in George, accompanied by a delegation of National Ministers, on Thursday, 16 May 2024 (tomorrow).

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

George Municipality confirms that the donations of fresh food received for the affected families who remain in the George Civic Centre are adequate. The families remain supported and provided with meals. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

The next update will be issued at 15:00 midday, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA ADVISORY: PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA TO VISIT THE GEORGE COLLAPSED DISASTER SITE IN THE WESTERN CAPE

MEDIA ADVISORY: PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA TO VISIT THE GEORGE COLLAPSED DISASTER SITE IN THE WESTERN CAPE, WEDNESDAY 15 MAY 2024

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA TO VISIT THE GEORGE COLLAPSED DISASTER SITE IN THE WESTERN CAPE

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday, 16 May 2024, visit the George disaster site, following the fatal collapse of the the partially built residential building.

Since the fatal incident on Monday, 6 May 2024, government and its disaster management agencies at all levels has mobilised personnel and resources towards the rescue efforts and providing support to the survivors and families of the deceased.

President Ramaphosa remains deeply attentive to the rescue and recovery efforts underway and has expressed his deep condolences to the family and friends of the deceased workers.

Ahead of the President Ramaphosa’s visit on Thursday, Ministers and Deputy Ministers in the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Employment and Labour, Health, Police, International Relations and Cooperation, and Public Works and Infrastructure have visited the site and have been working collaboratively with the Disaster Joint Operations Centre, with the Western Cape Provincial government and the Garden Route District Municipality.

The visit of the President to the disaster site will proceed as follows:

Visit to the Garden Route Disaster Joint Operations Centre

Time : 10h30
Date : Thursday, 16 May 2024
Venue: Garden Route Disaster Operations Centre, George

Visit to the disaster site and meeting with families

Time: 12h00
Date: Thursday, 16 May 2024
Venue: George Municipal Civic Centre Hall

Media doorstop opportunity

Media enquiries:

Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President – media@presidency.gov.za

ISSUED ON BEHALF THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

www.thepresidency.gov.za

MEDIA STATEMENT: 09:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 15 May 2024 at 09:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are nearing the end of day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 211 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

The identification of deceased is the joint responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness FPS (who also manages the visual identification in support of SAPS). After an incident such as this, visual identification can understandably be difficult and traumatic for family members and requires SAPS to undertake identification through scientific means, of which DNA testing is one method. We urge the media and public to please respect the families of the deceased while we facilitate the identification process with SAPS.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The National Minister of Employment and Labour, Hon. Thulas Nxesi, will be visiting the area tomorrow, 16 May 2024.

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

George Municipality confirms that the donations of fresh food received for the affected families who remain in the George Civic Centre are adequate. The families remain supported and provided with meals. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

The next update will be issued at 12:00 midday, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 06:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 15 May 2024 at 06:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are nearing the end of day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other roleplayers have been on site of the collapsed building for 208 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

The formal identification process has been completed by the Victim Identification Centre and Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) as follow:
Identification: 18
(14 males, 4 females)

Nationality breakdown:
– South Africa: 7
– Zimbabwe: 3
– Lesotho: 1
– Malawi: 5
– Mozambique: 2

SPECIAL REQUEST FROM FAMILY

A request for a Cultural prayer by a family member of one of the deceased was made and will take place 07:15am.

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

The identification of descendants is the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness FPS manages the visual identification in support of SAPS. After an incident such as this, visual identification can understandably be difficult and traumatic for family members and requires SAPS to undertake identification through scientific means, of which DNA testing is one method. We urge the media and public to please respect the families of the deceased while we facilitate the identification process with SAPS.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The National Minister of Employment and Labour, Hon. Thulas Nxesi, will be visiting the area tomorrow, 16 May 2024.

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

The George Municipality expresses profound gratitude for the overwhelming support shown through food donations for the families impacted by the recent building collapse. Acknowledging the generosity of the community, the Municipality announces that the donations received exceed the immediate needs of the affected families. Consequently, no further food donations are necessary until further notice at the George Civic Centre. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street.

The Municipality extends its sincere appreciation to all individuals and organisations for their remarkable outpouring of goodwill during this difficult period.

The next update will be issued at 09:00am, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 21:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 14 May 2024 at 21:00

Rescue and recovery efforts continue into day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other roleplayers have been on site of the collapsed building for 199 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

The formal identification process has been completed by the Victim Identification Centre and Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) as follows:

Identification: 18 (14 males, 4 females)
Nationality breakdown:
South Africa: 7
Zimbabwe: 3
Lesotho: 1
Malawi: 5
Mozambique: 2

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

The identification of descendants is the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness FPS manages the visual identification in support of SAPS. After an incident such as this, visual identification can understandably be difficult and traumatic for family members and requires SAPS to undertake identification through scientific means, of which DNA testing is one method. We urge the media and public to please respect the families of the deceased while we facilitate the identification process with SAPS.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The National Minister of Employment and Labour, Hon. Thulas Nxesi, will be visiting the area on Thursday, 16 May 2024.

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

The George Municipality expresses profound gratitude for the overwhelming support shown through food donations for the families impacted by the recent building collapse. Acknowledging the generosity of the community, the Municipality announces that the donations received exceed the immediate needs of the affected families. Consequently, no further food donations are necessary until further notice at the George Civic Centre. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street.

The Municipality extends its sincere appreciation to all individuals and organisations for their remarkable outpouring of goodwill during this difficult period.

SPECIAL REQUESTS FROM FAMILY

A request for a Cultural prayer by a family member of one of the deceased was made and permission has been granted for, tomorrow, 15 May 2024 at 07:15 am.

The next update will be issued tomorrow morning at 06:00 am, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Munici

MEDIA STATEMENT: 18:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 14 May 2024

Rescue and recovery efforts are on day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other roleplayers have been on site of the collapsed building for 196 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

The identification of decedents is the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) manages the visual identification in support of SAPS. After an incident such as this, visual identification can understandably be difficult and traumatic for family members and requires SAPS to undertake identification through scientific means, of which DNA testing is one method. We ask the media and public to please respect the families of the deceased while we facilitate the identification process with SAPS.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Joint District Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The National Minister of Employment and Labour, Hon. Thulas Nxesi, will be visiting the area on Thursday, 16 May 2024.

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

The George Municipality expresses profound gratitude for the overwhelming support shown through food donations for the families impacted by the recent building collapse. Acknowledging the generosity of the community, the Municipality announces that the donations received exceed the immediate needs of the affected families. Consequently, no further food donations are necessary until further notice at the George Civic Centre. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street. The Municipality extends its sincere appreciation to all individuals and organisations for their remarkable outpouring of goodwill during this difficult period.

SPECIAL REQUESTS FROM FAMILY

A request for a Cultural prayer by a family member of one of the deceased was made and permission has been granted for tomorrow, 15 May 2024 at 07:15.

The next update will be issued by 21:00, 14 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

SPECIAL UPDATE – No More Food Donations Needed for Building Collapse Victims’ Families

Issued by George Municipality, 14 May 2024 @16:45

The George Municipality extends its heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support received in the form of food donations for the families affected by the building collapse.

At this time, the Municipality wishes to inform the public that the amount of food received is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the affected families. Therefore, no further food donations are required at the George Civic Centre for the injured or deceased workers’ families.

However, for those still wishing to contribute food donations, we kindly request that they be delivered to RGS Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street and not to the George Civic Centre.

The Municipality sincerely thanks all individuals and organisations for their outpouring of goodwill during this challenging time. The generosity shown by the community has been remarkable.