South Africa News

Deputy President Paul Mashatile to visit disaster-struck Jagersfontein

Deputy President Paul Mashatile will on Tuesday visit Jagersfontein in the Kopanong Municipality in the Xhariep District, Free State.

On 11 September 2022, it is thought three people were killed, with 42 people injured and over 300 residents in the small town left homeless, after the mudslide from a dam at a local mine.

The deputy president is expected to provide feedback to the community of Jagersfontein on the service delivery challenges in the municipality.

According to the Presidency, the visit will focus on the efficient and equitable supply of water, and the resettlement of community members who were affected by the disaster, which occurred when a Jagersfontein Development Project dam wall burst.

Commitment

During his oral reply to questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Mashatile promised to visit the community of Jagersfontein as part of a series of outreach visits aimed at improving service delivery and addressing challenges faced by some municipalities.

His office said in this regard, the visit will provide a platform for Mashatile to assess progress made by government and other stakeholders, such as Bloem Water, in restoring water and wastewater infrastructure in the area.

The deputy president’s programme will include an engagement with investors in areas of the Xhariep District Municipality and the affected community members who were displaced by the dam collapse.

Oversight

Mashatile’s office said he will also visit the Jagersfontein Water Treatment Works and conduct a walkabout to the land parcels identified for resettlement, including show houses built through the Jagersfontein Development Project.

The deputy president will be accompanied by government ministers, Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana as well as the provincial executive mayors and senior government officials.

The publication has reported how over seven months after the mudslide swept through the township of Charlesville, taking with it lives, houses, and people’s dreams, the town has become a ghost town… and a town of ghosts.

Today the town is eerie, with an end-of-world atmosphere hanging over the wrecked houses and the twisted bodies of swept-away cars lie where they came to rest, while pigs root nearby in disinterest.

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