George tragedy: ‘We must not give up’


From the rescue workers who have been working tirelessly since Monday afternoon to save the lives of trapped construction workers, to residents arriving in large numbers to offer help.

Alan Winde, the Western Cape premier, says he cannot say thank you enough.

“To see how the people of George stand together after a great tragedy has struck the city, makes me indescribably humble and grateful.”

During a visit to the scene on Wednesday, Winde thanked all the role players who helped in various ways after a building under construction, with 75 workers on site, collapsed.

“This is just another proof that residents of the Western Cape stand together as one man when they are confronted with tragic incidents like this.

“I can’t thank everyone enough.”

RNews reported earlier that seven people had already died in the incident and 39 people were still missing. However, a total of 36 people could be rescued from the rubble of the apartment building.

Winde says more than 200 emergency service workers from across the province are working non-stop to save the remaining 39 individuals.

“You are true heroes.

“I cannot describe the emotions when everything suddenly goes silent in the hope that our teams may have located another survivor.”

He says that there are still some difficult days ahead, but the help that volunteers and non-governmental organizations offer with their support to the families of the affected construction workers, “is extraordinary”.

“Thank you to LoveGeorge, Gift of the Givers, SARZA, The Lions of George, Garden Route Food Pantry and Food Sock Meals, all involved neighborhood watches and community policing forums, and all the individual residents who helped. There are so many people I want to thank, and I realize there are countless more organizations I still need to thank.

“Without your cooperation, we would not have been able to respond to the tragedy in the way we did. We must not give up.”

Winde also expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

“I share in your pain. We will do everything in our power to ensure that we determine the exact cause of this incident.

“Every time one of those big pieces of concrete is lifted off the site, I fervently hope for good news.”

Winde is receiving constant updates on the situation and has again asked people to give emergency officials the space to do their job properly.