Parliament, Saturday, 17 September 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy visited the affected communities of Ipopeng and Charlesville yesterday following the recent Jagersfontein Diamond Mine disaster where the mine dam burst killed one person and caused severe and unspeakable destruction to homes.
The committee kickstarted yesterday its three-day oversight visit to Jagersfontein in Free State where it was told that four people are still missing after the dam burst tragedy that took place on Sunday last week. It heard from the mineworkers that the management of the mine was aware about the leakages on the dam wall four hours before the disaster took place, but it did not take action. The people called for accountability for the tragedy.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) told the committee that it did not have jurisdiction over the tailings dam in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and due to the 2009 Court Judgement. Based on that, the DMRE did not conduct inspections as the tailings dam was a processing facility and not a mine.
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, reiterated that tailing dams are a mining operation as commodities are extracted from it and therefore the MPRDA must be amended to include tailing dams to ensure that the DMRE has jurisdiction over them. He said that this disaster has affected 164 households displacing 399 people who were temporarily accommodated by the municipality. He said the damage caused by the tragedy also affected the electrical and water infrastructure.
Mr Luzipo said that the committee will compile a report on what it has seen and heard from the affected people and that report will be tabled in the National Assembly. The committee will also engage with other relevant parliamentary committees in Parliament as the consequences of the disaster demand an immediate attention and a multi-pronged approach to ensure that the communities get the assistance they need.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES, ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MR SAHLULELE LUZIPO
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Sureshinee Govender
Cell: 081 704 1109
- Our Parliament
- About Parliament
- What Parliament does
- National Assembly
- National Council of Provinces
- Constituency Work
- Ethics and Member's Interests
- Role of Parliamentary Committees
- Parliament Art
- Visiting Parliament
- Contact Us
- Our People
- Presiding Officers
- Members of Parliament
- Business Of Parliament
- Parliament Programme
- Questions and Replies
- Parliamentary Papers
- Parliamentary Budget Office
- Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy
- Have Your Say