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Residents demand end to dust nightmare

Residents of MNS informal settlement and Ward 12 are waiting for a solution to the dust pollution caused by nearby mining activities.

Ward 12 and MNS informal settlement residents are up in arms over relentless dust pollution stemming from nearby mining operations. Gripped by fear for their health and quality of life, the community demands immediate action.

Clr Lucky Tolo, representing Ward 12, expressing the community’s frustration, said, “The community is facing a serious threat to their health and livelihoods due to the dust caused by mining operations. We demand compliance from the mine owners to mitigate this issue.”

During a recent meeting on Sunday, May 12, community members aired their grievances, focusing primarily on the health hazards caused by the dust.

Dust-covered homes, sick children, and crumbling infrastructure: Ward 12 and MNS informal settlement residents demand a solution now.

Residents are particularly worried about respiratory issues, sinus infections, and eye irritations, all of which they allege are attributed to the polluted environment.

“The mine needs to take responsibility for the maintenance of the roads and suppress the dust to ensure the safety and well-being of the community,” Tolo added.

“The situation has become unbearable for us. Our children are falling sick, and we fear for their health,” said one resident. “We are not against the mine, but they need to operate in a way that doesn’t put our lives at risk.”

Another resident, Mike Masango, said, “Since last December, we have been raising the issue of dust pollution, but nothing has been done. Our homes are covered in dust, and our infrastructure is crumbling. We cannot wait any longer for action to be taken.”

“The dust is everywhere. It’s in our homes, on our streets, and in our lungs. We can’t escape it,” said another resident. “We need the mine owners to understand that their operations are affecting our lives, and they need to take immediate action to fix it.”

The frustration reached a boiling point on Monday, May 13, when community members took to the streets, blocking off roads and preventing trucks from operating as they caused the disaster.

Not only do mining operations have an impact on the residents’ lives, but they also ruin their windows.

Their demands for immediate action were clear: Address the dust pollution issue before more lives are affected.

“We have been raising concerns about the dust since last year, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Our children are suffering, our homes are covered in dust, and our infrastructure is crumbling. Enough is enough,” added another resident.

The community is not against mining; they are simply demanding that the mines operate in compliance with regulations to safeguard the health and well-being of the residents.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has encouraged anyone facing challenges to visit their offices at the Saveways Centre.

Masemanzi Mining, the company responsible for the mining operations, has not yet responded to WITBANK NEWS’ inquiry about the issue.

But in response to the community’s protest, the mine agreed to meet with the locals on Tuesday, May 14, and they are still waiting to hear what will happen next.

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