Sinkhole on N12 a hazard

Posted in Latest News

Lentswe, Stilfontein - The sinkhole next to the N12 in Stilfontein is still not fixed or attended to after four years and residents are fed up with it.
The first sinkhole was noticed in November 2015. An assessment by the Dr KK Disaster Management committee revealed that the sinkhole was triggered by water leakage from the municipal pipeline in Doringkruin.

SANRAL who is responsible for the road and the maintenance on the sinkhole released a statement in December 2015, warning road users that the maintenance of the road will take between 6 to 8 months and that drivers should be careful when passing Stilfontein on the N12.

Almost 4 years after the statement was released and conservation of the sinkhole and road began, residents started wondering what is happening on the sectioned off part of the road as no construction has taken place at the site in more than a year.

Community members took to Facebook to post photos of the increased size of the sinkhole and to voice their frustrations.

Last week the local DA office released a statement on the situation calling for urgent attention to the matter.

SANRAL confirmed that heavy rainfall and a few minor earthquakes did indeed have an impact on the project.

“The number of sinkholes has since grown to a total of four, all within a 30-metre radius.

“These sinkholes are a risk to motorists driving on the road and surrounding properties are affected, some residents have been forced to leave their houses for their own safety.

The area is in a bad state due to the number of empty houses, people buy properties in other areas because the market to properties has also reduced, there is no interest in buying properties in Stilfontein because of the risk involved,” DA Cllr Bea Campbell-Cloete said.

On 13 June, the Portfolio Committee on Housing visited the site to find that the area has been vandalised and the pipe that was used to divert rainwater was stolen.

The sinkholes are not barricaded, the fibre lines and electrical cables are left exposed and nothing is being done to divert the water pipe.

An official of SANRAL who asked to stay anonymous, said that the committees involved held a meeting on Tuesday 25 June on the site evaluating the location and forecasting an action plan to fix the road in the next few months. Funds from the budget “dried-up” and a plan must be made to restructure the budget to complete the project.

“This issue has been ignored for far too long, there are three stakeholders who must be involved in resolving this issue; City of Matlosana Municipality, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, and SANRAL. SANRAL was prepared to fix the sinkholes but the municipality as well as the district have no funds.

“The DA calls on the City of Matlosana and the District Municipality to establish an inter-departmental committee and work with SANRAL to get the sinkholes fixed before further damage is caused,” Campbell-Cloete added.