SAHRC to probe Jagersfontein mine dam tragedy – ActionSA

Jagersfontein residents said the mine was a disaster waiting to happen.

ActionSA has confirmed that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will investigate the devastating Jagersfontein tragedy that left casualties and displaced families.

Accountability over Jagersfontein dam burst

This after the party on 28 September filed charges against the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Kopanong Local Municipality, Jagersfontein Developments and the province’s local government.

Residents of Charlesville in the small town of Jagersfontein, Free State, were woken to mudslides caused by mine tailings after a dam burst on 11 September.

The hazardous mudslide left 300 displaced, loss of lives and livestock and damage to infrastructure and properties.

Another dam burst in Jagersfontein

ActionSA demands for accountability after another dam cracked open and released water, less than a month after the first incident.

The mine, owned by De Beers, was shut down in 1970 and the tailings dump is owned by Stargems’s unit Jagersfontein Developments.

The office of Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela said the second dam burst was caused by heavy rains the area experienced and cleared that there were no casualties or damage to property.

READ MORE: Another dam wall collapses in Jagersfontein

“Residents at Charlesville are left to inhale polluted air and use contaminated water to the detriment of their health and the municipality has done nothing to assist in this regard. Additionally, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation has reportedly warned about the dam operating at twice the capacity it was authorised to,” read the ActionSA statement.

The party is accusing the entities of being in contravention of these Acts:

  • South African Constitution, the Bill of Rights
  • The National Environmental Management Act
  • National Water Act regulations
  • Mineral and Petroleum Act 29 of 2007 – Department of Minerals and Energy (License and Legislative compliance)
  • Water Services Act 108 0f 1997- Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Mine Health and Safety Act 28 of 1996

The residents said the mine was a disaster waiting to happen and stated they have flagged their concerns to the local authorities but nothing was done.

“Mining experts in the affected communities have long reported flagrant disregard for environmental laws by the mining corporations operating on their land and in their communities,” said ActionSA.

NOW READ: Body found in Jagersfontein can’t be linked to dam collapse incident as yet

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