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Jagersfontein residents demand answers from mine

───   LUCKY NKUYANE 15:46 Tue, 11 Oct 2022

Jagersfontein residents demand answers from mine | News Article

Residents of the Jagersfontein town, which was hit by the mine mudslide disaster in September 2022 in the Free State, held a protest march to the mine on Tuesday 11 October 2022.

According to a community leader, Lefa Shale, residents went to hand over a memorandum of demands to the management of the Jagersfontein Development Projects (JDP) over varying issues. He says this issue includes, among others, the undercover operation of the mine whilst it shouldn’t because of the continuing investigations by the government.

Shale says the mine management has never set foot in affected areas to address residents following the Sunday 11 September disaster, which claimed the lives of two people, left scores injured, 1 missing, over 200 people destitute or homeless and almost 100 houses destroyed.

ALSO READ: Houses, cars swept away by strong stream of water in Free State town | WATCH

“Some of the issues in the memorandum is the fact that there are employees who have been suspended but only those who are from the town have been suspended, whilst those who come from outside of town are allowed to work. So those are the burning issues which are stated in the memorandum,” Shale says. The residents were joined by the Trompsburg-based Kopanong Local Municipality, Mayor Xolani Tselele.

ALSO READ - #JagersfonteinDisaster: Alleged negligence led to collapse of dam – WATCH

The mine has since been given seven days to respond to the memorandum from residents.

Residents have also raised concerns about the lack of development the mine had played in uplifting the community over the years whilst in commission. One resident and a community leader of the Itumeleng Location, Shale, previously told OFM News that for years the Jagersfontein Development Project (JDP) neglected its mandatory community development programme. He said residents were left to struggle whilst the mine thrived. Shale alleges that some politicians with a particular interest in the operation of the mine, have aided the mine to thrive whilst residents were left to live in squalor conditions.

“We, as the community, expect something from the mine but nothing was ever given to the community and Jagersfontein is as you see it. This community is (angry) to the extent that they wanted to meet with the manager of the mine. Unfortunately, we never met or saw them since this disaster took place. We are really disappointed and angry but don’t know what will happen going forward because now we don’t even have electricity, we don’t have anything,” Shale said.

ALSO READ - #JagersfonteinDisaster: 'For years we've never benefited' - community leader

The mine has, however, availed R20 million to help and assist affected residents.

ALSO READ: Millions made available to #JagersfonteinDisaster victims

According to the mine spokesperson, Leigh Ann Carey, R20 million has been made available with immediate effect. "It is cooperating with the law enforcement authorities and will offer every assistance to the community while undertaking a full investigation. We further have confirmation that the waste water is not hazardous. Jagersfontein Development remains committed to the well-being of the community and will lead clean-up operations," Carey added previously.

OFM News is awaiting a response to an enquiry sent to JDP.

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