South Africa: Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela is once again on the ground; undertaking a monitoring and assessment visit to the disaster-stricken Jagersfontein, where hundreds of community members were left destitute as a result of the collapsed mine dam that racked havoc within the community.
The Premier is accompanied by Social Development MEC Mamiki Qabathe and Director General Mr Kopung Ralikontsane.
Having dispatched a team of experts to work with the local municipality in making an assessment of the extent of the damage caused by the disaster and also to identify available pieces of land where affected families could be relocated, the Premier today, 16 September 2022, has come to ascertain the information contained in the daily reports she has received.
“We have identified sites. However, there is no infrastructure installed which poses a challenge of time. Nevertheless, we will be accelerating the installing water and sewer infrastructure as well as electricity. In the meantime, we will erect a temporary structure for those affected.
Whilst on her visit to Jagersfontein, the Premier met fifty-four-year-old (54) Paseka Mokhadi, who gave a painful account of how his still-missing wife, Mme Mantele Mokhadi, was caught in the heavy flowing sludge. He also relayed how his twenty-year-old son hung on to a window frame for dear life until he himself wrestled through the mud to rescue his son.
“Initially, we heard a sound of a boiling kettle, subsequently that of rain and then, in a blink of an eye, my family and I were caught up in the sludge. The next thing I saw was a blanket my wife had around her waist flowing past me with no sign of her anywhere” Paseka Mokhadi, a saviour of Jagersfontein dam. “I still can’t sleep; every night, I relive the ordeal. All I want is just to see my wife,” he added.
Premier Ntombela also called on members of the community to desist from paddling lies and causing unnecessary panic within the community, particularly those affected by the disaster. She also reassured those housed in places around Bloemfontein that they would continue to receive support.