South Africa: Department to Assist Workers Affected in Boksburg Gas Explosion

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says his department will assist the family members of those who died in the Christmas Eve gas tanker explosion in Boksburg.

The incident left at least 18 people dead, including nine healthcare workers stationed at the Tambo Memorial Hospital which was affected by the explosion. Several others were left injured.

“We will ensure that the workers who lost their lives and those that got injured as well as their families are assisted where applicable through the department’s entities – the Compensation Fund (CF) as well as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) – as prescribed by both the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) and Unemployment Insurance Act (UIF) Act respectively,” Nxesi said.

The Minister has sent his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

“My heart is heavy due to the loss of lives as well as injuries suffered by workers as well as bystanders, when the gas tanker exploded in Boksburg and damaged the Tambo Memorial Hospital.

“It is regrettable that a number of people, including patients and staff members suffered injuries and some lost their lives,” Nxesi said.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development MEC, Lebogang Maile said the majority of the wards at the hospital are now operational while other repairs are continuing.

“The Preliminary Engineering Assessment report undertaken by our engineers has shown that the explosion did not cause any visible structural damage that may compromise the structural integrity of the buildings.

“Moreover, visible mechanical damage is found at the X-Ray, Emergency and Theatre Wards. All these wards affected by the explosion sustained visible minimal mechanical damage mainly on air conditioning units, which will also be repaired,” Maile said.

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