Residents worried homes in danger
Call to stop illegal miners
An illegal mining operation in Kings Park near the western substation has provoked ire among community members who fear that should it persist, households in the residential area could collapse.
The illegal sand mining operation has apparently been conducted by a group of men for a number of years.
They allegedly sell the sand for the manufacture of bricks.
Concerned residents who fear the mining poses a threat to their homes said they had reported the matter to ward councillors and the municipality on numerous occassions but nothing had been done about it.
The residents said they had caught the men in the act, and that the group had admitted that they were mining illegally.
The community tried to stop the operation.
Resident Mangaliso Nqezo said he had been shocked when he was informed by other community members of the illegal sand mining and the danger it posed.
“It is a serious problem that deserves urgent attention,” Nqezo said.
“Houses that are close to this illegal operation face the risk of collapsing.
“Secondly, children’s lives are endangered because, should heavy rains visit the town, the pit will be filled with water and children could fall inside the pit and drown.
“The safety of these houses is compromised.
“The value of these houses will drop because of this unfortunate practice.
“We are concerned. This is dangerous and municipal officials must come and see for themselves what is taking place here.”
Nqezo said urgent action needed to be taken because the digging would spread and would soon prohibit access to the western substation.
Another resident, Matsaba Mali, said: “We understand that people are desperate and need money to survive but their ways of making money is at a disadvantage to us.
“This needs to be stopped immediately.
“The municipality needs to intervene.”
When The Rep visited the scene, one of the diggers, who refused to be identified, apologised to the group of Kings Park residents andpromised to discontinue the operation.
He said he was doing it to earn a living.
Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said the complaint had been noted and that the municipality would deal with the matter.
“Community members are urged to report their complaints at the customer call centre,” said Kowa.
It is a serious problem that deserves urgent attention. Houses that are close to this illegal operation face the risk of collapsing