Jagersfontein Catastrophe: One Year Later, No Findings from SAHRC and Inaction by Government

ActionSA has written to South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) requesting an update on the complaint lodged on the 29th of September 2022 by ActionSA, requesting the Commission to launch an urgent investigation into the human rights violations by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the Jagersfontein Development (PTY) LTD and Kopanong Municipality.

These entities violated the following Acts:

  • South African Constitution, including the Bill of Rights;
  • The National Environmental Management Act;
  • National Water Act regulations;
  • Mineral and Petroleum Act 29 of 2007 -Department of Minerals and Energy (License and Legislative compliance);
  • Water Services Act 108 0f 1997– Department of Water and Sanitation and;
  • Mine Health and Safety Act 28 of 1996

365 days later, over 103 people are still displaced, with no alternative accommodation. Numerous government leaders have visited the town, the latest being Deputy President, Paul Mashatile. Their visits did nothing to expedite the construction of damaged houses.

Jagersfontein Development (PTY) LTD is building the damaged houses at a snail’s pace, a clear indication that they do not take seriously the plight faced by the displaced residents.

To date, Charlesville residents are left to inhale polluted air and use contaminated water to the detriment of their health. The municipality has dispatched jojo tanks that are often without water.

The delay in finalizing this investigation is a violation on its own and that is the reason why ActionSA advocates for a capable, streamlined and politically independent state institutions that deliver high quality and timely services to the residents as resolved by our policy conference last week.

There is hope for Jagersfontein residents because an ActionSA government will strengthen state institutions with necessary resources, training and technology that will greatly improve turnaround time following these man-made disasters.