Parliament, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 – The Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy wrapped up its three-day oversight visit programme to Jagersfontein diamond mine, where a dam wall collapsed and caused a severe devastation to the community.

The committee witnessed the severe destruction that included the death of people, demolition of houses, killing of livestock, damage to cars and the destruction of infrastructure.

Briefing the committee, the Mayor of Kopanong Local Municipality, Mr Xolani Tseletsele, told the committee that the people who have lost their houses are currently being accommodated in hotels and guesthouses in Jagersfontein. The committee was also informed that one person has been confirmed dead and one is missing. It heard that the police are still looking for the missing person.

The committee has expressed its heartfelt condolences to families who lost their relatives during this tragedy and also expressed a word of consolation to those who lost their property and livestock. It appealed to the Jagersfontein community to cooperate with the police in their search for the lost person. “We are also behind the police and other government agencies that are involved in the search. We can’t rest until this person is found,” said the Chairperson of the committee, Ms Tebogo Modise.

The committee expressed its happiness about the swift and effective intervention of the district and local municipalities and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment for their provision of the required assistance that included cleaning of the mess that was caused by the disaster.

Ms Modise said what happened in Jagersfontein is as a result of negligence and non-compliance. She said the owners of the mine need to play a role with all the various stakeholders in rebuilding the community.

The committee reiterated its position that in its follow-up visit it will meet with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy where they will discuss the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act which denies the department jurisdiction currently over the surface tailings. The committee will also have a meeting with the mine owners and relevant departments to find a solution into the matter, a solution that will benefit the people of Jagersfontein.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND REFORM, ENVIRONMENT, MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MS TEBOGO MODISE.

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