By Vumani Mthiyane
Hlalani Kuhle residents in Gwanda are up in arms with the municipality and a local mine, claiming that the mining activities were causing their houses to develop cracks.
The residents claim the nearby Imani Mine is responsible for the widening cracks in their houses which now pose a threat to their lives.
This came out during a recent interface between council officials and residents which as organised by the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development in collaboration with Community Youth Development Trust.
The town engineer Phakamile Ndebele told the meeting that the mine activities might not be the sole reason for the cracks.
“Imani mine was established way before Hlalani Kuhle was established and some stands have even encroached into the mine. The mining activities might not be the sole cause of your problems. The strength and quality of your structures also contribute this sad development,” said Eng. Ndebele.
The deputy mayor, councillor Panalo Maphala concurred with the engineer saying upon visiting the mine he discovered that the mine office that was built years back before Hlalani kuhle and Ultra high houses has no cracks.
“I have made a tour to Imani mine, there is an office there which was built long back and that office has no single crack. Therefore, let us not blame the mine because we have an incident of a house which was blown away by the wind, that house had no single brick force.
“The said house was built within a space of two days, thereby compromising quality,” said the deputy Mayor.
Residents further alleged that the mine blasts have, in extreme cases caused breakage of their windows.
“We have a very big problem caused by mining explosions, our houses have cracked and windows are broken,” said a resident from Ultra high.
For a lasting solution, Eng Ndebele together with the city fathers promised to engage the Ministry of Mines to look into the issue.