Weak concrete did not cause collapse: Singh

09 March 2015

The Tongaat mall was always going to collapse, even if the concrete had the required strength and steel bars, chief executive of Gralio Precast (Pty) Ltd, Jay Singh told a commission of inquiry on Thursday.

Singh said he still believed that poor design by engineer Andre Ballack meant the mall would collapse. “Even if it had the full bars or the strength it was still going to collapse,” he said.

The inquiry is investigating the partial collapse of the mall on November 19, 2013, which killed two people and injured 29.

The inquiry has heard that beam seven, the beam that collapsed, only had seven of the required 19 steel bars. Many concrete samples from the site failed to meet the 30 MPa strength requirement.

It emerged that Gralio may have been using old drawings. Singh was ordered to bring the drawings his company used to the commission.

Singh said he had newer drawings, but because there had been no changes to the columns, the old drawings were used.
Singh said he had trusted his foreman Ronnie Pillay and Ballack to ensure the job was completed properly.
Asked if he accepted personal responsibility, he said he did not.


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