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Mashatile says Jagersfontein house rebuilding project is advancing

Satellite image of the Jagersfontein tailings dam disaster

Satellite image of the Jagersfontein tailings dam disaster

16th May 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile has assured the National Council of Provinces that the Jagersfontein house rebuilding project is well under way.

This project follows the collapse of a tailings dam wall at the Jagersfontein diamond mine, in the Free State, on September 11, 2022, resulting in a mud slide which damaged infrastructure and homes in the vicinity.

There have been various concerns raised by organisations and law firms that the progress of rebuilding houses in Jagersfontein has been too slow.

Mashatile says that, according to the Free State Office of the Premier, all the displaced people and families who were affected by the tailings dam disaster and mudslide, were being accommodated for in and around Jagersfontein, while a “significant number” of houses are being built or reinvigorated.

It is estimated that more than 100 homes were damaged in the incident.

The Deputy Minister confirms that the Kopanong local municipality approved 64 house plans for the rebuilding project.

Sixty houses have been completed by the contractor, while four houses are at the foundation level with construction set to start shortly.

The contractor is making substantial strides towards completing the entire project on schedule, Mashatile states, adding that the handover process for the houses to the rightful owners will be announced as soon as the project is completed.

Mashatile anticipates that normalcy will return to the town in the coming months.

Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana in May 2023 promised residents in the Xhariep district municipality that more than R15-billion of investment will create jobs in the area.

Mashatile last year established a project management task team comprising Deputy Ministers, MECs, mayors and municipal officials to oversee implementation of the deliverables related to rebuilding damage caused by the disaster.

The Department of Water and Sanitation also continues to work with the Kopanong local municipality to restore water and sanitation services.

In the 2023/24 financial year, the department allocated R2-million from its Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant and R16.8-million from its Water Services Infrastructure Grant to the municipality.

 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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