The City of Tshwane has announced it will file a lawsuit against a contractor it believes should be blamed for the drowning of a boy in Hammanskraal, in Extension 10, ward 49.
“Two young boys were sent out to do shopping, while running to do this task they fell into a trench which had been dug by an external contractor working on a Housing project for the City of Tshwane,” the city said in a statement.
“Tragically, one of the young boys drowned while the other was rescued and raced to hospital.”
Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams said in the wake of the drowning, he deployed members of his mayoral committee to the scene – Roads and Transport MMC Dikeledi Selowa, Human Settlements MMC Mpho Mehlape-Zimu, and Corporate and Shared Services MMC Sylvester Phokoje.
“I have given immediate instruction that legal action must be pursued against the contractor. Upon arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the site had not been adequately secured nor were there any barriers in place,”
Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams
Hammanskraal drowning: Contractor must be held accountable
The mayor said he considers the incident to be as a result of negligence on the part of the contractor. Williams said the contractor did not take the extra precautions to ensure there is adequate access control on the site.
“The city will be moving to hold the contractor accountable and we will consider all legal options available to us,” he said.
The mayor also wants answers from the ward councillor, community liaison officer and site managers, as to why they failed to exercise proper oversight and essentially avoid the drowning.
“These individuals should have direct oversight over these projects on a continuous basis and they are the first line of contact on such matters with the local community,” he further said.
The incident comes after three boys also drowned in the township. They were swimming in a trench in another part of Hammanskraal on Saturday, 21 November 2020. The trench has already been filled with water after the downpours over the weekend.
“I have given instruction that all relevant project management staff be dispatched to conduct site inspections at all construction sites around the city and report back,” the mayor said.
Williams said he would be meeting with the families of the three boys and would also engage the family of the latest victim.