The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has, with immediate effect, closed one lane of Miles Stoker Road in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg after it discovered a sinkhole that has developed.
According to the authorities, the sinkhole formed because of illegal mining activity in the area, including tunnelling beneath the road surface.
Miles Stoker road closure : Sinkhole due to illegal mining activity— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) July 26, 2023
The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has, with immediate effect, closed one lane of Miles
Stoker Road in the Roodepoort direction due to a sinkhole which has developed because of illegal
mining activity in the… pic.twitter.com/h0Lxw3hCZY
For safety reasons, the northbound carriageway along Miles Stoker Road, between Main Reef Road and Roodepoort, is temporarily closed, the JRA said.
Traffic will be diverted onto the southbound carriageway until further notice, while additional closures may be introduced to ensure safety of the public.
The incident brought the issue of illegal mining in and around Johannesburg to the forefront.
Shortly before that incident, 16 people died in the Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg, on the east of Johannesburg following nitrate inhalation.
Known locally as “zama-zamas”, these illegal miners are often young men who are drawn to the promise of quick riches from mining abandoned mines for gold, diamonds, and other precious metals. However, the reality of illegal mining is often much more dangerous and deadly.