The North West Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Human Settlement has welcomed the initiative by Tlokwe Local Municipality together with Africa Geo-Environmental Engineering and Science (AGES) on formulating programmes aimed at assisting communities affected by a dolomite in Potchefstroom and surrounding areas.

This came during the Committee held a meeting with Department of Local Government and Human Settlements, Tlokwe local municipality and AGES over the impact of dolomite within the local municipality.

The meeting forms part of the O re bone, re go bone – Taking Parliament to the People campaign which was held throughout Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality under the theme “The people shall govern through strengthening public participation, promoting accountability and transparency in government”.

The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Motlalepula Rosho praised the local municipality and the Geoscience Council for properly developing good strategies to mitigate the impact of dolomite in Potchefstroom and surrounding communities. “Both the municipality and the AGES has also worked well in creating management strategies on to reduce incidents caused by dolomite as well as creating a dolomite free society for future developments and town planning. The municipality should create substantive awareness programmes that will educate affected community members about the impact of dolomite and storm-water management,” said Hon. Rosho.

A Geologist at AGES, Mr. Stephan Potgieter said the initiative is aimed at identifying high risk areas affected by dolomite within the district as well as drafting specific programmes to assist affected wards. “In 2014, a dolomitic risk assessment report has identified eighteen (18) wards which constitutes to 23% of the Tlokwe City Council that are affected by dolomite in different levels.

“In certain areas, some houses has to be reinforced with extended beams whilst about 10 households in Ward 4 in Kanana township will be immediately relocated due to being situated in a highest level of dolomite. We have also advised the municipality to prioritise storm-water management and maintenance in the affected areas as it might reduce the risk of sinkholes caused by dolomite,” said Mr. Potgieter.

A Director for Housing and Planning, Mr. Lawson Mohlomi said part of the municipal plan is to review the municipal master plans on water and sanitation and storm-water management. “The municipality aims to reduce sewage and water leakages as they increase levels of dolomite. Certain Reconstruction and Development Programme housing projects initiated by the Department of Local Government and Human Settlement had to be reviewed due to this risk. As part of community awareness programmes on dolomite, the municipality has identified personnel per ward, who will be trained to educate their respective community members about the dolomite impact. The society should report any water leakages and damaged sewage pipes as they are symptoms of dolomite,” said Mr. Mohlomi.

During a public meeting at Ward 4 in Kanana township, various community members expressed their opinions on the impact of dolomite and other service delivery matters.

Ms. Ipeleng Makhubela said the municipality should emphasize on educational programmes on the impact of dolomite. “Most us have never been properly orientated on the dolomite which affect our lives on daily basis. We were not even aware that manholes and cracks in our RDP houses are symptoms of a dolomite,” said Ms. Makhubela.

For more information contact Kabo Letlhogela on 079 879 1448.