Condolences for families of Jagersfontein disaster

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Cabinet has expressed its sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives after the tailings of an abandoned local mine in Jagersfontein in the Free State burst open and released a disastrous mudslide around dawn on Sunday, 11 September 2022.

The disaster also left the local infrastructure, personal properties such as vehicles and several homes severely damaged.

During his visit to the disaster area on Monday, 12 September 2022, President Ramaphosa expressed appreciation for the rescue and recovery efforts being undertaken in the area.

He also pledged that government will provide the necessary support to the affected residents of Jagersfontein.

According to a Cabinet statement following its virtual meeting on Wednesday, Cabinet said it was encouraged that the owners of the mine have said that they are ready to provide technical assistance and support to the government should it be requested by the Minerals Council South Africa.

“The mining industry remains a significant contributor to the economy through direct and indirect employment, export earnings, and foreign direct investment, and plays a crucial role in improving the lives of people in mining communities.

“Government and some non-governmental organisations intervened urgently by providing emergency shelter, trauma counselling and basic provisions such as blankets, mattresses and food parcels. Water supply and electricity in the area have since been restored,” Cabinet said.

Cabinet said once the disaster site has been cleaned up, technicians are expected to undertake structural assessments of houses.

Cabinet further thanked emergency services, civil-society organisations and members of the public for their generous contributions and assistance.

Infrastructure development

Meanwhile, Cabinet has welcomed the opening of the new section of the Musina Ring Road in Limpopo that will make it easier for people to move around Musina, and also allow for increased trade and economic activity between South Africa and the Southern African Development Community countries.

The R640-million project created over 275 full-time jobs for locals and provided opportunities for local communities and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

The construction of the Musina Ring Road is part of government’s infrastructure programme, through the ERRP, that seeks to create inclusive growth and employment opportunities across various sectors and communities.

Economy

Cabinet also deliberated on the state of the economy in the country after Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) recent figures showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2022 decreased by 0.7%.

Factors which influenced this decrease included load-shedding, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the high cost of living and inflation.

“The interventions made by the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) have largely cushioned the country from the international headwinds, and also protected jobs and livelihoods.

“Government’s strong economic interventions are beginning to bear fruit, as evidenced in Stats SA’s recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey results, which showed that over 648 000 jobs were gained between the first and second quarters of 2022,” Cabinet said. – SAnews.gov.za

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