A firefighter fell to his death while battling a blaze on the upper floors of a government building in the Johannesburg CBD on September 5 2018. Picture: ALON SKUY
A firefighter fell to his death while battling a blaze on the upper floors of a government building in the Johannesburg CBD on September 5 2018. Picture: ALON SKUY

Almost a week after a massive blaze consumed parts of a government building in the Johannesburg city centre‚ the Gauteng government has removed its workers from nine buildings for safety reasons.

Officials said the buildings did not meet basic occupational health and safety (OHS) standards.

"It is important to note that the structural integrity of the buildings is not the sole contributing factor to the noncompliance with the OHS standards. Other compliance issues raised by the OHS include but are not limited to lack of awareness of the evacuating procedures by staff members‚ absence of walking rails on staircases‚ lack of identifiable exit routes [and] insufficient fire extinguishers‚" government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said.

On Monday, heads of departments met their staff members to issue directions on the relocations.

"[They] have instructed officials to report to temporary service sites‚ including regional‚ district and satellite branches. Affected departments include human settlements and co-operative governance and traditional affairs‚ health‚ social development‚ the office of the premier and others‚" Masebe sad.

Three firefighters died while trying to put out a blaze on the 23rd floor of the Bank of Lisbon building last week. Forensic specialists have been combing through the building to find clues as to what caused the deadly fire.

"Safety engineers have assessed the structural integrity of the Bank of Lisbon building and have reported that there is no immediate threat of the building collapsing‚ except for some defects due to the fire‚" Masebe said.

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