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Latest Update on Jagersfontein Disaster by Free State Provincial Government

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Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela


The Jagersfontein area experienced flooding in the early hours of the morning of 11th September 2022. The area is a small town situated about 110 km south of Bloemfontein in the Free State province. The town has a population of around 5 729, under the Kopanong Local Municipality in the Xhariep district municipality.

The indication is that the tailing mine dam wall collapsed and resulted in the flooding and sweeping of the nearby households and roads. The townships were full of mud-slides as early as 06:20. The Community was alerted to vacate the area.

Unfortunately, some of the houses located at the first two streets of the township were swept away. The numbers are confirmed as 51 houses in Charlesville and 113 in Itumeleng. The Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela and her MECs visited the are on the same day of the disaster and facilitated the relocation of the affected families. 186 people were taken to the Sandstone Estate in Bloemfontein, 53 at President Hotel in Bloemfontein and 17 at a Guest House in Fauresmith, at a cost to the mine involved. 160 people are with relatives. A total number of learners relocated to Bloemfontein is 77.

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA’S VISIT TO JAGERSFONTEIN
On Monday, 12 September 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by the Human Settlements Minister, Mamoloko Kubayi, the Deputy Minister for the Water and Sanitation Department, David Mahlobo and the Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Phumulo Masualle visited Jagersfontein and met with the affected families and community members at the Jacob Zuma Hall in Fauresmith.

The President then proceeded to the disaster site to get a first-hand experience of what might have transpired.


President Ramaphosa has committed his government to assisting the affected families with housing and belongings. The President will be provided with a weekly report by the provincial government led by Premier Ntombela to keep track of how families are being helped.


The Minerals Council of South Africa has committed to President Ramaphosa to providing the financial and technical assistance for the restoration of the lives of the people of Jagersfontein.

MINISTER MANTASHE MEETING WITH THE DISASTER VICTIMS AND THE MINE.
The Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela on Tuesday, 13 September 2022 joined the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and the Deputy Minister Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane for a meeting with the Jaggesrfontein Disaster Victims in Bloemfontein where food parcels, clothing and other basic necessities were handed out.


Minister Mantashe accompanied by the President of the minerals council of South Africa, Ms. Nalitha Fakude also met with the Management of the mine involved to get an account of what might have happened on the dreadful day. The Premier has ordered an investigation by the Disaster Management Committee into the disaster.

For further enquiries on the meeting, please contact the Spokesperson to minister Mantashe, Nathi Shabangu 071 492 011

SOCIAL SECTOR UPDATE

HEALTH
The Mangaung Metro Health District availed mobile clinics with Doctors to assess the state of health of the 243 people. They found 1 person, a 20 years old male whom the Doctor recommended admission as he showed signs of undetectable illness as the aftermath of ingesting contaminants with the sludge. The rest of other persons were declared well upon medical observation. However, the Doctors ordered their prescribed medicine as some are chronic medication users who lost all their medication in the disaster.


On Sunday, 73 patients with minor injuries were admitted to the Diamant Hospital in Jagersfontein, 7 at the Alfred Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg, 1 at the Pelonomi Tertiary Hospital in Bloemfontein and one more at the Medi Clinic Hospital in Bloemfontein.


The patient from Jagersfontein currently admitted at Pelonomi is doing well. This is the pregnant lady who had a fracture. She is responding well to treatment.


The female patient that was admitted at Medi-Clinic has been discharged after she was treated for shock and cleaned off the mud that she was immersed in.


THE DEATH TOLL AND MISSING PEOPLE
The Free State Provincial Government has for the past days been reporting that one (1) person has died and two (2) unaccounted for, the Emergency Services on Monday night discovered through their Forensic unit that the deceased has been identified as a 70-year-old Mr. Mosweu whom was one of the two residents unaccounted for.


There is still one resident, a 50-year-old female unaccounted for, the search and rescue mission is still underway

SOCIAL SERVICES
A temporary Food and Clothing Bank has been established. The Humanitarian/ Relief Organisations, Red Cross and Meals on Wheels have delivered the basic essentials including mattresses.
Red Cross delivered food parcels and 80 mattresses yesterday, they activated the delivery of 250 additional mattresses.

The profiling of affected the families is in progress from the affected in Jagersfontein, Fauresmith and those placed in Bloemfontein. A total of 500 meals have been given to the Community and 300 food parcels will be dropped off at the food and clothing bank from Meals on Wheels.


Gift of the Givers have also been of great assistance with trucks loaded with bottled water, blankets, mattresses, clothing, food for cooking, hygiene items, sanitary towels and diapers.
Al Imdaad Foundation is also on board to assist with essentials, they have provided food, blankets and clothing.


SASSA also assisting with profiling for their Disaster Relief Grant.
The Department’s Social Workers are also on the ground and have been visiting the victims at their respective shelters to provide psychosocial support.


The Department of Home Affairs has been activated to assist those who lost their identity documentation.


EDUCATION
Three schools are affected namely; Jagersfontein Combined Schools, Boaramello Combined School and St. Laurens Primary School. Attendance has been fairly low due to a number of reasons including the fact that some learners lost their belongings, non-availability of water and anxiety (social development is on the ground providing support), however the department has engaged all relevant stakeholders to encourage parents to release learners to go to school.


On the Monday and Tuesday learners’ attendance was adversely affected with all three schools registering below 50% attendance.

On the 13 September 2022 the Free State Department of Education-FSDoE had several meetings with all relevant players that is School Management Teams, School Governing Bodies and Teacher Unions to address the issue of poor attendance.

FSDoE also engaged Bloem Water to help fill all the Jojo Tanks at the three schools and by end of business on the 13 September 2022, all Jojo tanks were filled with water, FSDoE also supplied schools with generators to help address the issue of electricity and water.

At both Jagersfontein Combined and Boaramelo Combined the borehole has been resuscitated. On the 14 September 2022 at
a. Boaramelo 792 out of 870 learners attended
b. St Lawrence 214 out of 301 learners attended
c. Jagersfontein Combined 280 out of 570.
30 Learners out of 77 who were placed in Bloemfontein were returned on the 13 September 2022 and 26 of them placed at Olien Hostel in Fauresmith and 4 placed at Jagersfontein Combined Hostel. Preliminary report indicates that (the number may change as we verify on daily basis)
a. more than 109 learners at Boaramelo are victims of the disaster.
b. 40 learners at St Lawrence are victims of the disaster
c. 19 learners at Jagersfontein are victims
d. Teachers who are reported to have suffered due to the disaster

  • Boaramelo 6 teachers and 2 Voluntary Food Handlers
  • St Lawrence 1 teacher
  • Jagersfontein Combined 1 teacher and 1 Voluntary Food Handler.

INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR
HUMAN SETTLEMENT
The Total number of houses damaged/affected by the sludge: 164
No of houses affected in Charlesville: 51
No of houses affected in Itumeleng: 113
No of alternative sites identified for the building of temporary structures: 4 We are waiting for sites to be cleaned up so that the technicians can be able to access the houses so that structural assessments of houses can be done. DESTEA and DFFE promised to sample the sludge and run test in order to
give a clear indication if there are any materials that could cause harm to human life.


AN UPDATE ON WATER AND ELECTRICITY
The main Eskom Substation was affected by the disaster and therefore the whole area was left without electricity. The Waste Water Treatment Plant was also covered by sludge, and as a result Bloem Water was unable to operate the treatment, however the entity dispatched water tankers to help with the unfortunate situation. Water and Electricity has been fully restored in the area.

Issued by the Free State Provincial Government

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