Blasting leads to destruction of houses in Carolina

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Touted a game changer and a springboard for  economic diversification, rapid growth in coal  mining has brought woes to Mpumalanga’s small town of Carolina.

In place of promised prosperity, indisputable evidence in  2012 pointed to coal mining for the contamination of the Boesmanspruit Dam, which supplies Carolina with potable water. Presently, blasting from opencast mining is leading to destruction of houses near Pembani Coal’s operations.
This emerged in a recent meeting of Mpumalanga’s United Front steering committee held in Emalahleni where Carolina resident Khumbuzile Matimba showed those at the meeting pictures of houses with structural cracks. The residents are convinced that the damage to the houses in Haarlem Farm (near Silobela Township) is a result of mine blasting. [see attached pictures] With funding from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Pembani Coal (Pty) Ltd began mining in Carolina in 2004. With a mining rate of 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum, the mine’s life expectancy is estimated to be 12 twelve years. Earlier this year it was announced that Pembani tied the knot with the company Deputy-President Cyril Ramaphosa ran, Shanduka; before he ventured into fulltime politics.
The merger created R13.5bn mining and industrial group under the chairmanship of former MTN CEO Phuthuma Nhleko and Kennedy Bungane as the new CEO of Pembani.
According to residents, it is not the first time that houses in the area have been damaged as a result of mine blasting. Not long ago, Pembani Coal had to rebuild houses that had become structurally unsafe.
TOMORROW Wednesday 12 November 2014 at 11.00, a delegation from the Mpumalanga United Front Steering Committee will visit Harlem Farm for a walk-about, to assess the damage and the course that the provincial front will take in due course.
– Departure time to Haarlem Farm will be at 10.00 from:
• BF Boshielo House
10 Hofmeyr Street
For further information on the walk-about contact:

1. Simon Khanyile (Numsa Regional Organiser) – 073 644 5143
2. Sibahle Matimba (Carolina resident) – 060 719 4970
3. Lorraine Phakathi (Carolina resident) – 076 777 7747
4. Dudlane Sibanyoni  (Carolina resident) – 078 939 2901
Company and financiers’ contacts are:
1. Rob Wessels (Pembani Coal Executive Director) – (011) 7836210 or
2. Mashweu Matsiela (IDC – Mpumalanga Regional Manager) – (013) 752 7724/5