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Roof collapse at Cape Town’s St George Cathedral

Posted on: August 1, 2016 12:47 PM
Heavy rains caused part of the roof to collapse at Cape Town’s Cathedral of St George the Martyr before planned repairs to the structure could be completed.
Photo Credit: St George's Cathedral

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Experts are today assessing damage to the metropolitical church of the Province of Southern Africa after part of the roof collapsed on Friday. Officials at the Cathedral of St George the Martyr in Cape Town had been concerned about the condition of the roof for some time and had launched an appeal to replace the roof and its 40,000 tiles. But after heavy rains last week, part of the roof gave way.

The collapse was caused by rain water which had worked its way through broken tiles and softened the ceiling’s cement. Nobody was injured in the collapse.

“On Friday when we found parts of the ceiling had collapsed, we immediately cordoned off the area,” the Dean of Cape Town, Very Revd Michael Weeder, told the Independent newspaper. “You must remember the cathedral is a heritage site and is a very old building. Upon further inspection, we found the roof is in a far worse condition than we thought.”

Before Friday’s partial collapse, South Africa’s National Lottery Board had provided a grant of 7.5 million Rand (approximately £408,000 GBP) towards the roof repairs but a further 4 million Rand is needed to complete the roof repairs. In total, some 20 million Rand is required to complete repairs to the Cathedral.

The Independent reports that Archbishop Thabo Makgba, Primate of Southern Africa, fears that “the Cathedral would not make it through another winter” without repairs.