Asbestos removal concerns

Edwin Davids says the City of Cape Town did not remove or dispose of the asbestos roof at Rocklands civic centre correctly.

Edwin Davids, Rocklands

I would like to bring to your attention the incorrect disposal of asbestos when the City of Cape Town replaced the roof of Rocklands civic centre (“SOPA to be held at Rocklands civic centre,” Plainsman February 12).

I have photos and videos of the process of how the asbestos roof was removed.

It clearly shows total disregard towards the community of Rocklands in terms of health and safety.

I’ve been in contact with the mayor’s office regarding my huge concerns. However, all I get is the run-around.

Herewith are my grievances:

There was no signage indicating that work with asbestos was in progress; the area was not properly cordoned off thus leaving the public exposed to the handling of asbestos and its dust; the handling and discarding of the roof sheets were incorrect; and the asbestos waste was mixed with other waste.

To my knowledge asbestos waste must be kept separately.

Broken personal protective equipment (PPE) was worn by some of the employees while handling the asbestos, and an employee was walking among the public with broken asbestos PPE.

He or she should have been restricted to the construction site.

I would like to know whether a registered asbestos contractor did the job? Did they have a written approved work procedure from the Approved Inspection Asbestos Authority (AIAA) for the asbestos removal?

Was the approved work plan approved by the provincial director before work commenced?

A copy of the dump certificate should be made available as this is hazardous materials that should be dumped in a controlled environment that is Vissers hok.A copy of the asbestos clearance bulk swab sample analysis report should also be made available.

Dr Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, responds

The asbestos contractor appointed for this project is Asbes Away (Pty) Ltd, a proper Department of Employment and Labour registered asbestos contractor as per registration number OHH/RAC2019/CI-169.

An asbestos plan of work dated Monday January 27 was drafted by the Safety Network (Africa) trading as Safenet a properly registered Department of Employment and Labour approved Asbestos Inspection Authority (AIA) for this project.

On Saturday January 28, on receipt of a copy signed by all parties (AIA, RAC, principal contractor and client), the plan was submitted to the office of the Department of Employment and Labour.

Due to the urgency of the project, a request was made to the Department of Employment and Labour to waive the compulsory 14-day waiting period.

On Tuesday January 28, approval was received.

As outlined above, the City employed an approved contractor and a surveyor to monitor and oversee the work at Rocklands civic centre.

However, we will request a meeting with the complainant around the concerns raised, and escalate to the surveyor.