Mine management at Jagersfontein Developments are adamant that there was no indication of an imminent threat.

The mine’s compliance officer, Marius de Villiers, says they followed all safety measures.

However, on Sunday, a dam belonging to a mining company burst and flooded the area.

One person died, several houses were destroyed.

De Villiers was speaking during a visit by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Montashe to the mud-ravaged town.

He says: “A new license has been issued and we’ve been operating with that license so far and we’ve met all those conditions, so I’m saying the latest, and I’ve said it before, the latest engineering report that was submitted by the mine in June because we have to do it every quarter. We did it.”


Some residents of Jagersfontein salvage their meager belongings after their homes were damaged.

Dozens of displaced residents found shelter in a local church. Teaching and learning have been affected in disaster-affected areas, with some roads impassable due to mud.

Residents of Jagersfontein continue to sort out what happened after the disaster. Some say they are relieved to have escaped unharmed.

One of the distraught residents, Mpoi Nthaitsane, claims that the family’s home and farming implements were washed away, among other things.

“At this point we can explain that we lost the car, we lost pretty much everything that was in the garage, the whole garage is gone. Parts of the house are also gone. So I lost my animal, my inventory, and I also lost the tools for my inventory. There’s no account, our clothes are everything, literally nothing, so we just went back to try and see what he had that we could salvage.’

Communities affected by the dam breach continue to receive humanitarian aid:

A helping hand

Aid organization Gift of the Givers is expected to spend a week in the area to help with relief efforts. The organization’s relief coordinator, Koren Conradi, says they will provide food and clothing, including food for the animals.

“And in this way, we will provide food for these families, as well as the clothes they need, because everything has been washed under the mud. So we will also provide clothes. In addition to communities, there will be an aspect of families. This is the biggest humanitarian crisis at the moment. Since the sheep cannot eat, the grass or anything from the ground has been infected. So we are looking at food security and the farmers have called us to help them,” Konradi said.

The South African Red Cross Society is also ready to help the affected communities.

Provincial manager Claudia Mangwegape says: “At the moment we have identified their needs for blankets, mattresses, clothes as well as water. So, we try to help as much as we can, so we brought all the necessary things. We will work with other NGOs close to the Department of Social Development and other partners.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa applauded the people of Jagersfontein for how they dealt with the disaster when a mine dam burst on Sunday.

Ramaphosa appealed to residents not to lose hope as the government does everything in its power to restore the dignity of the people. Ramaphosa told the affected residents that the government would work tirelessly to rebuild the destroyed homes.

“We are here to come and help, to promise support and help to the people of Jagersfontein. So we’re grateful for that, so eventually you’ll have three levels of government, you’ll have a national government, as you can see, we’re here. You will have a provincial government, they immediately went into action. I was very impressed with Mrs Ntambela as she acted quickly with her MEC,” said Ramaphosa.

An interdisciplinary investigation is underway to find out the causes of the disaster.

At least 20 people hospitalized after mine dam burst in Jagersfontein, Free State:

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