Joburg to finally fix CBD explosion site

Joburg to finally fix CBD explosion site
Joburg to finally fix CBD explosion site

By Zukile Majova

The City of Johannesburg is finally ready to start fixing the service tunnel and rebuilding Lillian Ngoyi Street in the CBD.

A methane gas explosion ripped through the street previously known as Bree Street in July 2023. The blast killed one person, injured 48 others and damaged 37 vehicles in Bree and Rissik Streets.

Millions of rands of ratepayers’ money has since gone down the drain.

The city fathers claimed to have cordoned off the street and various adjacent streets that were also partially damaged in the blast.

In the first month, the city said it had spent over R4 million securing Lilian Ngoyi street with barbed wire.

The truth is that the so-called disaster zone was never secured and the public crosses over the rubble daily with no Metro Police blocking their access.

Some of the money has been spent on experts and outside consultants, gas analysts and disaster zone engineers.

Previously Jo’burg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda told a media briefing that they would need some R178 million to rebuild the service tunnel under the affected streets. More funds will be needed to rebuild and resurface the roads.

Gwamanda is due to brief the media on Thursday about the official start of the process of rehabilitating the precinct.

“An investigation into the explosion was undertaken and concluded and the city is now in a position to commence with the rehabilitation work on Lilian Ngoyi Street,” the city said in a statement.

The blast confirmed fears that the city had lost the skills of experienced staff in its engineering and disaster management departments.

The following were brought in on a consultancy basis:

  • A fire specialist with experience in industrial explosions and gas systems
  • An engineer who is an international specialist in fire dynamics and explosion simulation 
  • Specialists in explosion, gas and fire dynamics
  • A structural engineer
  • A geotechnical engineer
  • An electrical engineer
  • A civil engineer
  • A forensic specialist
  • An occupational health and safety professional

Pictured above: Engineers brief Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda.

Image source: X



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