WATCH: Such a disaster should never happen again, says Ramaphosa

watch: such a disaster should never happen again, says ramaphosa

WATCH: Such a disaster should never happen again, says Ramaphosa

“What has happened here was a disaster that we would never have wanted to see happen and obviously there must have been lapses... in many ways this is like a wake-up call.”

These were sentiments shared by President Cyril Ramaphosa who visited the disaster site in George on Thursday where a multi-storey building collapsed on May 6 with 81 people reportedly on site.

Ramaphosa visited the families and victims of those affected by the fatal collapse and received briefings by various departments on the investigations to be conducted once the site is handed over to authorities.

Ramaphosa reassured families that government would make every effort to support all those affected by the tragedy.

“We are looking at many people losing their lives all in one go...we are going to focus on saving lives and those who are still alive need to be saved. And we need to make 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 be buried here.

“Importantly, we felt that the bereaved families and friends of those who left this world should be treated with great compassion and should also make sure that the wounds they now have, are well taken care of.

“We know that many of you are in grief...there is no worse grief than people who have lost their loved ones.

The challenges that come through are enormous and we are here to give comfort and there will be a need for socio-psychoanalysis support and where that is the case, we will give our support to those people who need the help,” said Ramaphosa.

He stressed the importance of accountability and said “no stone would be left unturned” during the investigations conducted by various departments were completed.

Following a visit to the disaster site, South African Local Government Association (Salga) – led by Mluleki Nkosi, chairperson of the SALGA National Working Group on Emergency Services and Disaster Management - the department said the engagement was to get a comprehensive update on the operations.

“The primary objective of the meeting was to receive a comprehensive update on the ongoing rescue and recovery operations, which persist into the second week post-incident.

“This meeting also serves as an opportunity to assess the progress made and to strategise further actions to support affected individuals and families.

“SALGA acknowledges the critical importance of collaboration and coordination in such challenging circumstances,” said Nkosi.

Cape Times

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