Safety check

M Du Toit, Bergvliet

I am concerned about the temporary steel scaffolding that has been installed to support the concrete roof in Checkers, Park Shop.

Recently, I noticed that several yellow steel scaffolding struts had been installed under concrete beams at different places in the shop. Please could an authority on building renovation and the management of Park * Shop explain why
it is necessary to support the concrete roof slabs? Is it permissible to support an existing roof in this way, while business is carried out as usual? Will safety be compromised when the scaffolding is removed and the ceiling boards reinstalled?

* Sarita Van Wyk, spokesperson for Checkers, responds: We are a tenant in the centre, which is owned by the Government Employees Pension Fund.

During the Checkers store refurbishment, in early November 2016, existing ceiling boards were removed and cracks in the roof beams were identified.

Checkers immediately contacted the owner who appointed a consulting engineer to visit the store and provide a report on the cracks.

The engineer, in consultation with the owner, arranged for the slabs to be propped, while steel collars were also added as further safety precautions. A course of action to permanently repair the cracks was then recommended by the engineer and subsequently commenced by the owner’s contractors.

All professional consultants involved were in agreement that the safety precautions taken were sufficient in order for the store to continue trading, while repairs were being effected. All repair work has subsequently been completed to the satisfaction of the consulting engineer and props have been removed.

* The Bulletin asked the City of Cape Town to comment regarding an instance like this where building renovations are taking place. Do they carry out an inspection? If so, has this property been inspected?

The City’s mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe, said the City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department carried
out an inspection
which revealed that Checkers conducted maintenance work to the roof of the building under the supervision of a structural engineer. The work was completed about a month ago and no building plans were required in terms of the National Building Regulations.