EMA probes Davies Granite operations
THE Environmental Management Agency (Ema) has launched a probe into claims that a granite mining company’s blasting operations were causing some residential flats and houses near its plant to develop cracks.
The properties in Bulawayo’s Mpopoma, Tshabalala and Sizinda suburbs are allegedly developing cracks due to blasting activities from a site where Davies Granite operates from.
Ema’s Bulawayo province manager Mr Decent Ndlovu said his organisation only learnt through the media about the development.
Mr Ndlovu said an Ema team was on the ground investigating.
“We have gone to check what is happening. We are making a follow up to see what is really transpiring. We’ve to engage other stakeholders such as the Bulawayo City Council and the mine engineers to get full information on the matter,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“The results will determine what is occurring but we’re investigating the issue.”
Davies Granite chief executive Ken Jerrard defended the company’s operations. He said their blasts occurred from about 86 metres underground and they cannot be causing vibrations in homes about three kilometres away.
He said they began hearing that some residents were alleging that the company’s operations were affecting them two years ago.
Mr Jerrard said if that was true, buildings within their plant should also have been affected.
“We discussed it further and said come and look at our buildings. Our buildings are right next to the quarry.
“You won’t find a single crack. Why are you saying we are cracking your buildings two or three kilometres away when our buildings have been here for 40 to 50 years with no crack?” said Mr Jerrard.
He said residents should consider that their houses were old and built on “cheap” materials during the expansion of the city in the 1950s.
He refuted claims by the councillor for Ward 9 Charles Moyo who was quoted in The Chronicle edition of Wednesday saying that the company offered to assist residents to repair their houses.
“If we give a donation that will be interpreted that we’re accepting the liability to say we did it and we don’t believe that we did. We’ve said they should get engineers’ reports per each house and if that report substantiates that the blasts caused the damage we will compensate,” he said.
However, Mr Farai Gusi from Tshabalala suburb insisted that the company’s operations were to blame. — @nqotshili