Pretoria – The City of Tshwane has organised alternative accommodation for residents of Jeffsville informal settlement in Atteridgeville after a massive sinkhole developed in the area.
The residents reported hearing a loud bang on Tuesday around 10pm and walking out to find a huge hole extending towards their shacks at a rapid pace.
By Wednesday afternoon, the sinkhole had grown bigger, moving towards other shacks in the informal settlement.
About 45 families were affected, and others were unable to remove their belongings in fear for their safety.
City spokesperson Selby Bokaba said they moved promptly to secure a safer place for the affected families, where they would be temporarily accommodated.
“When we became aware of the situation, we immediately activated the important role players like the metro police, emergency services and disaster management to be deployed to the scene.”
Bokaba said the teams worked overnight to help evacuate the distraught families.
The affected families were temporarily accommodated at Mlambo Hall in Atteridgeville.
Bokaba said the families were then relocated to a safer place in Bremer Street.
“The relocation will take place in various phases, starting with five families until all affected people have been moved."
“A team of social workers has also been dispatched to determine the social impact and trauma the affected families may be experiencing."
“A city contractor of the Department of Housing and Human Settlement had already volunteered to move all the families to the new site,” he said.
The city would ensure that the families’ belongings were taken care of and try to make the relocation and temporary resettlement as hassle-free as possible, Bokaba said.