Houses submerged by floods atJagersfontein, South Africa

By Biodun Busari

At least three people have been confirmed dead as a dam near an abandoned diamond mine collapsed at Jagersfontein, South Africa.

The tragedy that struck early Sunday triggered flooding also that damaged property. At least 300 people have been affected in Charlesville, Jagersfontein.

Read also: Protests hit South Africa over high costs of living, inflation

The spokesman of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Nathan Shabangu said via SMS that 16 houses were swept away and more than 20 damaged by flood waters after the dam wall of the historic mine collapsed.

The mine in South Africa’s Free State province, formerly owned by De Beers Plc, was shut down in the 1970s.

Reports also said that dam’s collapse also resulted in the loss of power in the small town of Jagersfontein, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Bloemfontein, the regional capital, and other nearby townships.

The Kopanong Local Municipality in the Free State on Monday urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that victims of a burst mine dam were compensated for their losses.

Ramaphosa arrived in the Free State mining town to get first-hand information about a deadly dam burst.

Floodwaters and mud cut off Eskom Holdings SOC Limited’s access to an important electrical substation. The utility is working to restore supplies as said in a statement.

The mine’s dumps and slime still “belong” to De Beers and the government’s access has been restricted by court order, Shabangu said.

“We also have reports that the mine has been sold to other parties, without the involvement of the DMRE as per the court order,” he said.

Minerals Council South Africa, a mining industry lobbying group, said the cause of the dam collapse was unknown.

The Jagersfontein assets are not currently owned by any of its members, and it has no information about the ownership structure or the standard of management of the dumps, the group said in a statement.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Monday, was flown via an aircraft to examine the area, which has caused the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes. He was received by the community where he engaged them.

The Kopanong Local Municipality in the Free State on Monday urged Ramaphosa to ensure that victims of a burst mine dam were compensated for their losses.

Ramaphosa arrived in the Free State mining town to get first-hand information about a deadly dam burst.

Subscribe for latest Videos

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.