A mine dam collapsed in the central part of South Africa on Sunday morning as flooding caused by the collapse destroyed homes and infrastructure, according to the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (CoGTA).
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The South African government has deployed different departments at Jagersfontein, in Free State province, following the bursting of the dam killing three and injuring over 40 people, said CoGTA spokesperson Lungi Mtshali.
According to CoGTA, they have deployed police emergency medical services, health, disaster management, social development, search and rescue personnel, and engineers.
"The tailings of the abandoned local mine burst open leading to damages to infrastructure, personal property and homes. The untold damages in and around the community of Charlesville in Jagersfontein are extensive and has had negatively impacted the community. Some people are displaced, others lost property, while others are reported injured and missing," said the spokesperson.
Lungi Mtshali said the disaster management team has been deployed to assess the damage and impact and to provide direct operational support.
The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe held a virtual media briefing on Sunday saying the government will ensure that the law takes its course following the incident. He said they have sent inspectors to the scene to get details of the incident.
"The owner of the mine takes the greatest responsibility in paying compensation for fatalities and damage to infrastructure and property," he said, adding that the toxic substances on the mine dam would cause a negative impact on the environment. ■
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