Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Jagersfontein update: One person declared dead, 42 injured

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has activated the National Disaster Management Centre to assist affected residents in Jagersfontein.

One person has died and 42 others have been injured after a mine dam in Jagersfontein, Free State collapsed and swept away dozens of houses and cars on Sunday.

“Three bodies were recovered and one person was declared dead on the scene. The other two people were taken to hospital. We are still waiting for updates in terms of how they are doing,” Free State Emergency Medical Services spokesperson, Sipho Towa, confirmed to SABC News.

Towa said search and rescue efforts were still continuing in the disaster-stricken mining town.

ALSO READ: Jagersfontein Dam burst: three reported dead, homes swept away

It’s understood that early on Sunday, around 6am, the tailings of an abandoned local mine burst open leading to damages to infrastructure, personal property and homes.

Dlamini-Zuma activates NDMC

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma activated the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to assist affected residents in Jagersfontein.

Dlamini-Zuma said the damage in and around the community of Charlesville in Jagersfontein was extensive and had negatively impacted the community.

The minister said some people were displaced, others lost property, while others were reported injured or missing.

“Multi-disciplinary teams consisting of the South African Police Service, emergency medical services, health, disaster management, social development, search and rescue personnel and engineers from the mine responded immediately and are on the scene where search, rescue, immediate relief and stabilisation operations are underway,” the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said in a statement.

Assessments underway

Cogta spokesperson Lungi Mtshali said the NDMC was coordinating with the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) and other stakeholders to ensure that assistance needed is provided.

“The NDMC has deployed staff members to the affected area to assess the damage and impact and to provide direct operational support.

“The minister urges the deployed teams to do everything required to lessen the negative impact the incident has on communities.”

Mtshali said reports received so far indicated that the flow of the water had ceased and the immediate threat to residents and their homes was being stabilised.

“The injured persons have been provided with on-scene emergency medical care and are being transported to local hospitals. Assessments are underway to identify and account for all residents of the affected area.”

Preliminary reports

Earlier, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said three people were suspected to have died in Jagersfontein, according to preliminary reports.

Mantashe, speaking during a virtual media briefing, said officials were yet to confirm whether the deaths were a result of the floods.

He said 28 people were injured, with four of them in a critical state at various hospitals.

Preliminary reports also incidated that more than 40 houses were damaged, with 20 of them swept away by floodwaters.

Mantashe, who’s currently out of the country, said he would cut short his trip in order to visit Jagersfontein this week.

WATCH: Jagersfontein mudslide, Eskom loses bulk supply

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits