Khuma contractors in spotlight

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iol news pc quake damages houses

Orkney - Contractors who build shoddy houses in quake-hit Khuma near Orkney will face prosecution, North West premier Supra Mahumapelo warned on Wednesday.

“I don't want to make the conclusion that there was poor workmanship, but if there was, we will hunt them 1/8the contractors 3/8 down and prosecute them,” Mahumapelo told reporters.

“We have records of all those contractors used.”

Mahumapelo was addressing the media following the 5.5 earthquake that hit the North West province shortly after noon on Tuesday. The Stilfontein and Orkney area were at the epicentre of the quake.

One man died when a wall fell on him in an old mining village in Orkney. At least 34 mineworkers were treated for minor injuries at AngloGold Ashanti.

On Tuesday Mahumapelo said at least 400 houses had been damaged in Khuma, but the number had increased to 600 by midday on Wednesday and it was expected to increase as assessments continued.

He said the province could not estimate the budget it would need to rebuild damaged structures.

“It is very difficult to say how much it will cost to return to normality. It is a road that will always be under construction.”

Mahumapelo outlined plans the province would implement to ease the burden on residents.

Among these were a bank account for relief aid and a hotline for residents to report any problems.

A team consisting of the departments of finance, health, local government and human settlements, and social development would be tasked with ensuring normality prevailed in the province.

“There will also be an assessment of the entire province to get an idea of the situation. There were also reports of a house in Zeerust that was affected and it burnt completely,” he said.

The damage assessments would be done on a “case by case” basis.

Government buildings were also damaged in Stilfontein.

Trucks would be dispatched to assist families move their belongings from the damaged houses, Mahumapelo added.

Sapa



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