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Media Release: Premier provides update on emergency and disaster management operation at site of collapsed building in George

10 May 2024

Premier Alan Winde provided an update today, 10 May, on the ongoing multi-agency operation at the site of the collapsed building in George.

Early this morning, Premier Winde again assessed the site and was given a briefing by relevant authorities on the progress made so far.

Premier Winde attended a regular Joint Operational Centre meeting, where multiple stakeholders, including several Western Cape Government (WCG) ministers, municipal representatives and emergency and disaster management authorities, fed in input to ensure the overall response remains fully coordinated throughout.
The Premier reiterated, “This is an incredibly complex and delicate operation. Despite this, our highly experienced emergency and disaster management crews have been working flat-out to find the workers who are still trapped. If need be, we will further intensify our efforts.

Since the incident, nearly 700 emergency and disaster management officials and volunteers have been working tirelessly on the site. “You are true heroes and we are immensely grateful for all you are doing in this very difficult time,” reiterated the Premier. He added, “That is what I admire the most about our Western Cape residents; when incidents of this nature occur, everyone comes together and steps up. You are all extraordinary.”

Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning stated, “We are currently using large construction machines to remove as rubble as fast as we can. We are working towards hard-to-reach locations and this takes time. Teams are working very carefully and methodically. I must stress this is a search and rescue operation with a recovery component.”

The Head of the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), Colin Deiner emphasised the operation remains in the search and rescue phase, with heavy machinery brought in to excavate the site.
It was emphasised that the operation will carry on in a coordinated manner for as long as it takes until every single person is accounted for. “All role players are working together in a professional manner, with the victims and their

families the top priority of our efforts,” the Premier continued.
Premier Winde concluded that the multiple investigations undertaken by various agencies will be thorough.