South Africa: Mine Blasting Damaging Homes Across the Country

In communities across three provinces, the walls of homes are being cracked and their floors are collapsing as houses are being damaged by unabated mine blasting.

This is the situation according to communities in the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga Highveld and Limpopo.

Community leader Olefile Mabuya from Postmasburg in Northern Cape told Scrolla.Africa most of the houses in the community have been damaged by blasting conducted by Anglo American-owned Kolomela Iron Ore Mine.

“Many houses within the community are being damaged by blasting. We have written many letters to the mine but they don’t take responsibility. They don’t even respond to the letters,” said Mabuya.

“Some houses are seriously damaged and the floors are collapsing. This problem started about a decade ago and until today it is still continuing.

Sinah Phochana from the Anglo Platinum media unit says they are investigating the allegations.

“Investigators were sent to check if this is true,” says Phochana.

In Limpopo, Anglo American has started to renovate the houses damaged when Mogalakwena Platinum Mine conducted its blasting sessions between 2016 and 2019.

Community leader David Moselakgomo from Mogalakwena said they had to confront them many times but they are relieved that some houses have been repaired.

“They have already repaired about 400 houses,” said Moselakgomo.

Themba Mahlangu from Middelburg is facing a similar situation as his family houses are always being demolished when Mafube Coal Mine conducts operations.

“Other people were assisted to relocate a year before the mine started operating but they don’t want to offer the same assistance to my family,” says Mahlangu.

Bontle Mfolo, Regional Manager of Thungela Resource Limited which owns the mine, denied the allegation.

“After a structural engineer inspected the house we found that the blasting activities have no impact on the Mahlangu home or its immediate surroundings,” says Mfolo.


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