The West Rand District municipal council is expected to convene on Thursday to consider declaring the Merafong City local municipality a disaster area.

Merafong includes areas such as Khutsong, Carletonville and Fochville. Declaring Merafong a disaster area will enable the municipality to source funds and other resources to relocate residents in areas affected by sinkholes to a safer place.

A geological study commissioned by the municipality in 2000 found that 90% of Khutsong township is on dolomitic land and that there is an urgent need to relocate communities. Gauteng premier David Makhura visited Khutsong on Wednesday.

“The disaster will be declared by the district municipality. The principal thing is to attend to the old infrastructure, water and sewer infrastructure destroyed by the sinkhole with regards to housing development in this area because the old township of Khutsong is affected by sinkholes. We have a new development here called Elijah Bagayi, we have moved lots of people affected by the sinkhole problem.”

Billions will be needed to relocate people from sinkhole-prone Khutsong