Woman injured in roof collapse in Thohoyandou centre

Municipality in Limpopo says it warned the building owner to renovate

| By

Workers clear rubble after the roof of an old building in Thohoyandou’s city centre collapsed on Monday, injuring one person. Photos: Bernard Chiguvare

A woman was injured and several informal vendors and small businesses are out of pocket after the roof of an old building in Thohoyandou’s city centre collapsed this week.

The building housed several shops including a hardware shop, KFC and Hollywood Bets. The collapse of the roof has affected several hawkers who for years have been making a living selling food, and repairing shoes or mobile phones outside the building.

Thulamela municipal manager Masala Makumule said a 55-year-old woman who was passing by had sustained minor injuries. He said the the municipality had warned the owner in 2020 that an upgrade was necessary. He said the cause of the collapse had yet to be established and he and was waiting for a forensic report. “Thereafter a penalty will be imposed.”

GroundUp’s calls and messages to the owner of the building went unanswered.

When Groundup visited the scene on 15 August, workers were clearing rubble inside and outside. “It sounded like an earthquake and all the workers escaped through the other door. We are not sure what caused the collapse,” said Robert Rashaka, who works at Star Glass Hardware.

Mkateko Mabasa cooks pap in a makeshift tent after the roof of the building where her stall was collapsed on Monday.

Mkateko Mabasa has been selling food outside the building for five years. “The buildings collapsed in the morning while I was busy preparing food. I had to throw it away.”

She pays R30 every day to travel to town by minibus taxi from Tswinga and relies on the money she makes to feed herself and her four children. “I am not sure my customers will come for food today. The place is still dusty,” she said.

Tshifhiwa Tshinakaho, who does glass cutting outside Star Glass Hardware, said he had lost more than 20 glass sheets worth over R2,000. “I have to wait a few days till the rubble is cleared and some renovation done,” said Tshinakaho.

The municipality said it could not help the vendors who were operating outside the building in undesignated spots.

Correction on 2023-08-17 08:38

This article has been amended to clarify that Tshifhiwa Tshinakaho does glass cutting outside Star Glass Hardware.

TOPICS:  Disaster

Next:  Students march to Parliament in protest against new NSFAS system

Previous:  Court confirms suspended sentence for man who sexually assaulted seven-year-old

© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.