Government commits to support families of collapsed George building

Thursday, May 16, 2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured the families of the deceased and injured workers who were trapped inside the collapsed building in George, that government will do everything possible to assist.

“We do not want to increase the burden, the suffering, and the grief that you are going through. We want to be there as government at all levels to demonstrate our compassion,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa visited the George disaster site on Thursday following the fatal collapse of the partially built building, where a total of 81 people were reported to be onsite when the incident happened last Monday.

According to an update report issued by George Municipality, in the Western Cape, at 12pm on Thursday, of the 81 people who were inside the building during the incident, 62 have been recovered. Thirty-two people have passed away, while 12 have been admitted in the hospital. Nineteen are still unaccounted for.

During the site visit, President Ramaphosa held a briefing with various people involved in the rescue and dealing with all aspects of the disaster, including a number of Ministers, and Western Cape Premier, Allan Winde, where he received an update on the extent of the work done and support that has been provided for the families since the disaster struck.

WATCH | President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at the Garden Route District Municipality offices in George 

President Ramaphosa commended the effort that is going into dealing with the incident, including the professionalism, capability and knowledge displayed by those involved.

The President said he is satisfied that South Africa is able to deal with disasters, particularly this one until it reaches finality.

He assured the bereaved families that government will leave no stone unturned and will ensure accountability.

“It will take some time for all aspects of this disaster to be properly tied together... I can assure you that the seriousness in which this matter is being [dealt with] will lead to the truth coming out,” the President said, urging for patience while the investigation continues.

While acknowledging that the families are grieving and need immediate solutions and answers to their questions, the President assured that all officials dealing with the matter are going to remain transparent.

“We are a transparent government. We are able to reveal everything as it should be revealed. Let us have a level of patience. I know it is very difficult for those who have lost their loved ones to have that level of patience,” the President said.

The President also offered his condolences to the bereaved families, and wished those who are in hospital a speedy recovery. 

“We are currently focusing on saving lives, caring for the injured, making sure that the remains of those who have lost their lives, are well put together so that those who need to be repatriated can be repatriated, and those who need to be buried here can also be buried,” President Ramaphosa said. –