Lily Mine residents to get free housing - Mpumalanga premier

2017-03-13 13:32
Community members at a meeting between mine management, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, and families affected by the Lily Mine disaster. (Supplied)

Community members at a meeting between mine management, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, and families affected by the Lily Mine disaster. (Supplied)

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Mbombela – Residents of Louisville, Mpumalanga who live near the closed Lily Mine where three workers remain buried, will get 1 000 new RDP houses by 2019.

"We want the people here to live a better life, just like anybody else," Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza said on Monday.

"We are of course concerned about the issue of the mine; our wish is to improve their lives while we attend to retrieving the bodies," he said.

On February 5, 2016, an underground supporting pillar in the coal mine collapsed. Three workers – Pretty Mabuza, Solomon Nyarenda and Yvonne Mnisi – were busy in a lamp room housed in a shipping container on the surface at the time.

They disappeared into a sinkhole and were buried under tons of rock. The rescue operation was abandoned when the mine’s owners, Vantage Goldfields, ran out of money.

Creating employment for locals

Mabuza said local construction companies involved in the project would create employment for locals following the closure of Lily Mine and the neighbouring Barbrook mine.

He said he wanted residents to pave roads and do maintenance on the dilapidated clinics and schools which the former KaNgwane government had built.

Mabuza said he was unhappy with the lack of water, roads, schools and clinics in the area.

"I am not going to wait for the investors. I will look for other options for the mine to open, and find the way to recover the bodies of our beloved. We definitely want the mine to open for operations, but at the same time we are committed to changing the lives of the people," he said.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union began its own inquiry into the Lily Mine disaster this week. They have engaged the services of human rights attorney Richard Spoor.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  housing  |  service delivery

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