Johannesburg – Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela has announced that four contractors have begun construction on four model houses using alternative building technology (ABT) for the communities hit by the flooding caused when a mine dam at Jagersfontein collapsed.
ABT uses economical and environmentally friendly building materials and construction methods to make building houses quicker, easier and cheaper.
The premier’s spokesperson, Palesa Chubisi, said the four houses would serve as show houses and the affected communities would get an opportunity to choose the plan they preferred before more houses were built. Construction of the model houses began on Monday.
The new houses, “if approved by (the) beneficiaries, will be completed before the end of December”, she said.
The initiative was the beginning of the project to rebuild the houses in the first two streets of the township that were swept away.
More than 50 houses in Charlesville and 113 in Itumeleng were swept away by the flooding caused by the collapse of a diamond mine dam wall in Jagersfontein early on Sunday, September 11.
Those affected by the disaster were relocated the same day.
“(Over) 186 people were taken to the Sandstone Estate in Bloemfontein, 53 at President Hotel in Bloemfontein and 17 at a Guest House in Fauresmith, at a cost to the mine involved. (Another) 160 people are with relatives. The total number of learners relocated to Bloemfontein is 77,” said Chubisi.
The start of the project comes after consultations by the National Disaster Management Centre, various organs of state and the Free State Provincial Disaster Management Centre.
“Emanating from the classification of this occurrence as a provincial disaster, the primary responsibility to co-ordinate and manage this disaster, in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements, are designated to the provincial executive,” said Chubisi.
Ntombela emphasised the importance of fast-tracking the rebuilding process at a special executive committee meeting.