The Premier of Free State, Sisi Ntombela, has announced that they will on Monday start construction of new houses for Jagersfontein residents who were affected by the mine dam burst.
Ntombela was speaking during the funeral service of Ralehana Aaron Mosoeu (78), who’s the only person confirmed dead from the disaster.
Ralehana Aaron Mosoeu’s neighbour, told mourners at his funeral, that he woke him up, moments before the sludge hit their houses.
Disaster struck the mining town two weeks ago leaving more than 160 houses destroyed and infrastructure damaged. More than 300 people were displaced.
The mining town has been declared a disaster area.
Speakers at the funeral service of Ralehana Aaron Mosoeu, described the late 78-year-old as an honorable and dignified man.
Mosoeu died on September 11th while running for safety with his wife after sludge flooded parts of the town.
They lost each other in the mayhem, and his wife survived. Mosoeu’s younger brother, Tankiso told mourners that he will miss his reliability.
Ralehana’s brother, Tankiso Mosoeu adds, “It is a social man and he was a reliable man, if he promises to do that, this is what I’m going to do for you, then he does and lives up to his promises. That’s my brother that’s how I know him.”
Ntombela promised the affected residents that they will fast-track the project to rebuild their homes.
“The lives of our people have been affected. Most have been displaced. Government is therefore working hard to ensure that we assist those severely affected by this terrible tragedy. Our hope is that, if all goes well, those whose houses were destroyed can return home before the end of the year.” she says.
Premier appealed to the community of Jaggersfontein to pull together during this difficult time.
Premier Ntombela further said government is working around the clock to assist those mostly affected by the tragedy which took place on 11 September.
“In fact we now have 160 people that don’t have houses; in fact we want to fast track the process. At least we’re planning by December all these people will have houses. So by Monday, we’re going to start building some of the houses we want to build.” says Ntombela.
In a Facebook post, the Free State Provincial Government says that extensive work is underway to restore basic services such as water, sanitation and waste removal in Jagersfontein.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has deployed mobile unit to help the affected community in accessing their grants.
The Department says affected residents have been provided with suitable accommodation and survival basics.
The Department of Social Development has deployed 12 social workers to provide psycho social services for all affected residents.
Meanwhile, Eskom has been working around the clock to restore electricity to the area.
The Provincial Government says they will continue assessing conditions on the ground for proper planning and implementation.