EMA probes Davies Gran­ite op­er­a­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.