Port Elizabeth – Lifts in 52 government buildings in the Eastern Cape have been switched off until it can be ensured that they all have the required number of counterweights.
It was established that the lifts in three blocks of flats housing members of the police and defence force in Port Elizabeth did not have the minimum number of counterweights required to ensure the lifts’ safe operation.
Seven staff members in the Mount Road police station in Port Elizabeth were in a lift when it fell four floors to the ground floor on March 22, injuring four seriously, Netwerk24 reports.
Upon investigation, it was found that the lift had only 11 counterweights instead of the minimum 25 required. They each weigh 75kg.
Spokesperson for the Department of Public Works Thami Mchunu said lifts in the police flats Sterrenberg and Gamtoos, which have 13 floors, as well as the defence force’s Forest Hill block of flats all did not have the required number of counterweights.
Residents of Sterrenberg said the lifts were switched off about a week ago and no reasons were given.
“Luckily there haven’t been any accidents in these lifts. The department immediately took steps to switch off all of them,” Mchunu said.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Marinda Mills said a case of attempted murder was being investigated.