Subscribe to this channel

You can subscribe to new audio episodes published on this channel. You can follow updates using the channel's RSS feed, or via other audio platforms you may already be using.

RSS Feed

You can use any RSS feed reader to follow updates, even your browser. We recommend using an application dedicated to listening podcasts for the best experience. iOS users can look at Overcast or Castro. Pocket Casts is also very popular and has both iOS and Android versions. Add the above link to the application to follow this podcast channel.

Signup to iono.fm

Sign up for a free iono.fm user account to start building your playlist of podcast channels. You'll be able to build a personalised RSS feed you can follow or listen with our web player.
15
SEP
2pm

Scientists, academics and healthcare professionals prescribe ‘fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty’ for a healthier world

A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, leading academics and the head of the planet’s foremost public health agency met hundreds of health professionals and organisations from across the globe on Wednesday. They are calling for an end to global dependence on fossil fuels to protect people’s health.
‘The modern addiction to fossil fuels is not just an act of environmental vandalism. From the health perspective, it is an act of self-sabotage.”
These were the words of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in a statement affirming his support for a plan outlined in an open letter signed by more than 1,000 health professionals and 200 health organisations across the globe on Wednesday.
Among the signatories to the letter are global health heavyweights like the World Medical Association, the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment, the World Federation of Public Health Associations and the WHO.
The letter calls on governments to urgently develop and implement what the signatories are calling a “Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty” — a legally binding international pact to “end global dependence on fossil fuels” and “protect the health of people around the world”.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
The United Nations defines a treaty as an “instrument” comprised of four criteria. First, it needs to be a “binding instrument”, which means the “contracting parties intend to create legal rights and duties”. Second, the instrument “must be concluded by states or international organisations with treaty-making power”, and third, the instrument needs to be governed by international law. Fourth, it needs to be in writing.
The mooted Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty finds inspiration in the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The framework, which was the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO, was developed in response to the “globalisation of the tobacco epidemic” and is an “evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health”, according to the UN.
In a similar vein, the proposed treaty would be an “evidence-based international agreement to control a category of substances well-known to be harmful to human health: coal, oil and gas.”
The letter lays out several threats fossil fuels pose to planetary and human health:
Air pollution, most significantly from burning fossil fuels, causes more than seven million premature deaths each year and contributes to cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and cancers. Wildfires, made increasingly intense and common by climate change, ...
15
SEP
12pm

From smart agriculture to 3D-printed houses, 4IR tech can help combat the climate crisis

Economic growth and climate action can be pursued concomitantly through innovative thinking, the convergence of technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the mindset that goes with them.
With COP27 approaching, countries will engage again on climate change matters and how best to tackle them. African countries are looking to make their voices heard in conversations about the financial aid that has been promised to them.
The increase in global temperatures caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is trapping heat and causing rapid climate change. This has significant implications for our planet, including more extreme weather events, rising sea levels and extinction of plant and animal species.
Through Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action), all countries are encouraged to take immediate action in the fight against climate change.
The climate crisis, however, is a global problem; it is also closely related to other Sustainable Development Goals; these latter relationships will ultimately affect how humanity can function and at the same time make it more challenging to tackle the issue.
For example, Sustainable Development Goal 2 aims to end hunger, but most agricultural products require specific environmental conditions to succeed; farmers cannot produce food when environmental conditions are not conducive. Wheat farmers in Nineveh, Iraq, are being forced to settle for lower prices because their harvest has been of poor quality due to the drought caused by climate change. Iraq has experienced extreme temperatures and droughts for at least the past two years.
Without any wheat to sell, most farmers in Nineveh are being forced to abandon agriculture in search of something that will put food on the table.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “When the climate crisis and 4IR converge, a new economy beckons”
During the First Industrial Revolution, increased steam engine use and fossil fuel burning was already leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, negatively affecting our environment. This increase was due to the sudden rise in production and consumption.
Over the past century there has been an exponential rise in production and consumption, which is not sustainable in the long run. SDG 12 (Consumption and Production that is Responsible) and SDG 13 (Action to Combat Climate Change) stand in a negative relationship because as one decreases, so does the other.
On the other hand, intense droughts and heatwaves can destroy animal habitats, directly harming animals and endangering their lives. Recently in Zimbabwe, thousands of animals were moved from a reserve in the southern region ...
14
SEP
3pm

Jagersfontein dam disaster highlights transparency, ESG issues

The unfolding disaster in Jagersfontein, triggered by the collapse of a tailings dam wall, has put the mining industry’s environmental and safety record into focus. The news is not all bad as the mining industry strives to clean up its act — the problem is that many unlisted companies remain below the radar.
In January 2019, a dam holding mine waste in Brazil collapsed into a raging torrent of nine million cubic metres of tailings, killing 270 people in the town of Brumadinho. The dam was part of the operation of the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine owned by Brazilian mining giant, Vale.
That disaster was a massive wake-up call to an industry that had for decades been under pressure to clean up its environmental and safety act. One of many initiatives to emerge was a Global Standard of Tailings Management (the Standard) developed by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN-linked Principles for Responsible Investment.
“The Standard has made tailings dams a focus for the entire global industry, rather than just a few companies. This has put responsible management of tailings on the agenda of executives and boards in a way that rarely happened before. This is having an impact,” ICMM CEO Rohitesh Dhawan and COO Aidan Davy recently said on the group’s website.
As of January 2022, 79 companies (including ICMM’s 26 members) have committed to implementing the Standard.
“Although the Standard is voluntary, there are consequences for ignoring it. For example, the Church of England Pension Board, managing about £4-billion in assets, has said it will vote against the Chairs of companies that have not committed to implement the Standard.”
The CoE Pension Board also helped nudge Anglo American to shed its South African coal assets.
All of this is tapping into the current corporate zeitgeist with its focus on ESGs — environmental, social and governance issues.
The upshot is that the construction and maintenance of tailings dams — which store the byproducts of mining operations — are being closely monitored, and any company that has a disaster on its hands will pay a steep price. Vale has paid $7-billion in compensation to the communities affected by the 2019 incident in Brazil and its legal woes are not over.
Jagersfontein Developments
This brings us to the Jagersfontein diamond mine and its tailings dam, which killed at least one person and displaced scores of others when its wall ...
14
SEP
3pm

‘Repurposing’ coal infrastructure can boost South Africa’s energy transition, International Energy Agency says

While South Africa continues its enormous coal consumption, the environmental implications of its use – now and in the future – have never been more clear, and never has the need to robustly address its place in society been more salient. The International Energy Agency says countries can repurpose coal infrastructure to aid their clean energy transitions, and Minister Gwede Mantashe agrees.
South Africa is the most coal-dependent country in the world for its energy needs, and coal is the most harmful fossil fuel in terms of its impact on health, global warming and human-induced climate change. The country, however, also suffers from a toxic mixture of staggering unemployment levels with entire towns and livelihoods tied to the coal value chain, persistent energy insecurity and a power utility that is financially incapable of investing in cleaner forms of power generation.
In the context of this quagmire, a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Security of Clean Energy Transitions, suggests one pathway to address all of these issues: repurposing coal infrastructure.
The report’s abstract explains that it “examines the evolving challenges of maintaining energy security in the context of clean energy transitions on the pathway to net zero emissions”.
The report “highlights key energy security concerns during energy transitions and provides governments, notably within the Group of Twenty (G20), with policy recommendations for maintaining and improving energy security, while accelerating clean energy transitions”.
South Africa is in the top 20 greenhouse gas emitters worldwide and causes more than 1% of all historical greenhouse gas emissions. Rapidly reducing global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is an increasingly urgent and necessary task if humanity is to limit an increase in the average global temperature to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
The most recent accounting of the science of climate change and global warming – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Working Group I report – estimates the value of global warming to date at 1.1°C.
Beyond 1.5°C is considered “dangerous climate change”.
See South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions and emissions targets.
The agency’s report says that “repurposing coal infrastructure can accelerate just and secure energy transitions. The most interesting asset in the coal value chain is generally the coal power plant and its associated infrastructure, in particular the connection with the electricity transmission grid. There is currently over 2,000GW of coal power generation capacity that could be converted into low-carbon assets in different ways, providing adequacy, flexibility and stability to ...
14
SEP
12pm

Colonial diaries in SA are helping scientists reconstruct past weather patterns to shed light on climate change

Old diaries and digitised historical records represent the longest and oldest-known corporate chronicle of daily weather recording for the southern hemisphere, a treasure trove for climate scientists trying to protect the future.
The current climate crisis raises many questions. Some are forward-looking: how can this be fixed?
Some look to the recent past: how did we get here?
And some reach further back into history: are today’s extreme heat waves, catastrophic droughts and floods all due to climate change? Was climate and weather this bad 100 or a few hundred years ago?
For scientists to answer those last two questions, they need to consult reliable instrumental weather records. But these only go back a few decades for many regions of Africa. The continent’s longest continuous single station weather record is that of the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town, starting in 1841. This record shows that rainfall has gradually declined since about 1900.
Yet, it also demonstrates that while Cape Town’s 2015 – 2017 drought was severe, it was little different from a much earlier drought (1930 – 1939). Looking even further back could help to create a more complete, nuanced picture of weather and climatic shifts in Cape Town. But given the absence of instrumental weather records prior to the 19th century – or during times well before human-induced accelerated global warming – this hasn’t been possible.
Massive photo project
Now some answers are being provided by what seems at first glance an unlikely source: a massive project to photograph and transcribe daily registers kept by the Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie (VOC), or Dutch East India Company, between 1651 and 1795.
All of the trading company’s activity in the Cape Colony was carefully documented in the VOC’s daghregisters, its daily registers or journals. Since 2016, these detailed records, held by the Cape Town Archives and Nationaal Archief in The Hague, have been photographed and digitised by the non-profit Tracing History Trust. By 2021, 2.5 million words had been transcribed for the VC Daghregister Project.
As we outline in a recent research paper, the digitised records are a treasure trove for climate scientists. They represent the longest and oldest-known corporate chronicle of near-continuous daily weather recording for the southern hemisphere.
Here’s what we’ve learned from them so far – and what they may have to teach us about current and future climate.
Shipping monopoly
The VOC had a monopoly on shipping trade between what is today the Netherlands and southeast Asia ...
13
SEP
7pm

Mantashe says ‘dangerous’ high court judgment crippled his department’s jurisdiction over all tailings dams

Minister Gwede Mantashe says a high court judgment from 2009 that left the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy without jurisdiction over all tailings dams — including the one in Jagersfontein that burst on Sunday — was a dangerous mistake.
The minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, visited Jagersfontein in the Free State on Tuesday, where the collapse of a tailings dam wall at the Jagersfontein diamond mine displaced more than 200 people and killed at least one.
Mantashe said a 2009 high court judgment that left the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 (MPRDA) without jurisdiction over all tailings dams — including the one in Jagersfontein — was a dangerous mistake.
“It deprived this company and this mine [of the] opportunity to have regular mining inspectors visiting it,” he said during his visit to Jagersfontein.
“To me, it confirms that this cannot be an operation that is given a different definition — it is a mining operation, and therefore the DMRE must take full responsibility for the operations. That judgment, to me, was a mistake and it should be corrected.”
Mantashe was referring to the judgment in 2009 by the Free State High Court in the matter of De Beers vs Ataqua Mining and the DMRE.
The case dealt with the questions of whether the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 deprived De Beers of the ownership of the minerals in its tailings dumps, and if the DMRE had the authority to grant prospecting or mining rights in tailings dumps created before 2002.
The collapsed tailings dam (where byproducts of mining operations are stored) is adjacent to what used to be the Jagersfontein diamond mine, which was shut down in the 1970s by its then owners, De Beers. The tailings dam is now classified as a processing facility and is owned by Jagersfontein Developments (JD), a unit of the Dubai-based Stargems Group.
Tailings dumps or mines often contain large amounts of minerals that can be extracted, extending the economic lifespan of a mining operation.
De Beers won the 2009 court case, and the court held that tailings dumps are movables and thus ownership belongs to those who removed the minerals as they had occurred naturally in or on the earth, and the MPRDA could not control tailings dumps created before the act was created in 2002.
‘You can’t fragment mining’
Mantashe said this judgment meant ...
13
SEP
7am

Cape Town SPCA confiscates pit bull puppies forced to fight

Three pit bull puppies were confiscated after a video showed a group of Cape Town youngsters forcing the dogs to fight one another.
A group of youngsters, some as young as seven, were videoed in Parkwood goading four-month-old pit bull puppies to fight each other. One puppy tried to get away, but was held on a leash and forced to defend itself from attacks.
The video was handed to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Their inspectors, with Cape Town law enforcement officers, confiscated two of the pups the next day, as well as four other dogs with new and old scars associated with dogfighting.
They were taken to a place of safety. Criminal charges of illegal animal fighting and animal cruelty have been laid.
“I’m always shocked at people’s understanding of what it means to be kind to animals when they keep them in appalling living conditions and use them for fighting purposes,” said Inspector Mark Syce of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
“None of these dogs deserved the suffering they had to endure because of blood-hungry individuals.”
Dogfighting is illegal in South Africa and carries a fine of R80,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 24 months. In terms of the Animal Protection Act, it’s a crime to be involved in any way with the fighting of animals or to own, keep, train or breed animals used for fighting or to incite them to attack each other.
It’s also illegal to buy, sell or import these animals to fight, keep them on your property or even to watch an organised dogfight.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security for the City of Cape Town, JP Smith, said dogfighting was more than just a bloodthirsty sport. He said it was a cruel form of inhumane entertainment used by criminal gangs to groom youth and recruit them into a violent society where death becomes acceptable.
“There is nothing normal about such cowardly human behaviour,” he said.
“While communities are buckling under the terror inflicted by gangs, the city calls upon these same communities to take note of those involved in the illegal sport of dogfighting and to report it.”
Last year, the SPCA and Cape Town law enforcement joined forces to eradicate dogfighting.
Cruelty reports can be made in strict confidence by emailing inspectorate@spca-ct.co.za or calling 021 700 4158/9 during office hours.
You can also report cruelty via/ or by calling the after-hours number 083 326 1604. DM/OBP
13
SEP
7am

SA in ground-breaking rethink on protection of biodiversity

As the world’s biodiversity slips ever deeper into crisis, a ground-breaking South African White Paper demands a paradigm shift to put care of the creatures with whom we share the planet at the centre of our concern.
The White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, gazetted yesterday for public comment, is built around a set of definitions that, if implemented, have revolutionary implications for the welfare of animals in South Africa.
At its core is the contention that nature has value in its own right, independent of human uses, even if it does not benefit humans. Its intrinsic value, the paper says, cannot be calibrated against its economic worth.
The paper, issued by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, comes close on the heels of a policy document that takes aim at lion farming and the intensive breeding of rhinos.
The White Paper seeks to remedy the shortcomings of the current conservation model which, it says, was founded on the historical colonial practices – entrenched by apartheid – of over-exploitation of nature and the exclusion of the indigenous and local communities.
It embodies the definition that the well-being of an animal involves circumstances and conditions conducive to its physical, physiological and mental health and quality of life, including its ability to cope with its environment.
The issue of sentience
The paper goes further. By acknowledging – and this has huge legal implications – that animals are capable of suffering and experiencing pain and are sentient requires us, in our use of animals, to show respect and concern for them individually.
The White Paper points out that, as a signatory to the International World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), we are obliged to abide by its standards of animal welfare which recognises animals as sentient.
In South Africa the foundations for change were laid down in a landmark judgment in a case brought by the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) against the Minister of Justice in 2016. The Constitutional Court not only elevated the welfare and protection of non-human animals to a constitutional concern, but also significantly related their welfare and protection to biodiversity and the constitutional right to have the “environment protected . through legislative and other means” in Section 24 of the Constitution. It set down that:
The rationale behind protecting non-human animal welfare has shifted from merely safeguarding the moral status of humans to placing intrinsic value ...
13
SEP
6am

Keen to retrofit your home to lower its carbon footprint and save energy? Consider these three things

Retrofitting housing stock to be more energy efficient is essential to successfully meet targets of cutting emissions while finding comfort in our future of intensifying climate extremes.
With temperatures plunging and power bills skyrocketing, heating (and cooling) our homes is an energy-intensive, expensive affair. (.)
A take-away from the current energy supply squeeze: energy efficiency pays. Whether retrofit or new build, do it to high standards and reap the benefits. Also, we need proper minimum standards in buildings and fleet wide emissions standards for vehicles.
Frank Jotzo (@frankjotzo) June 15, 2022
My research into net-zero emissions retrofitting identifies three broad categories that must be considered when retrofitting existing homes to be more climate friendly:
visual comfort: the sufficient quality, quantity and distribution of light
thermal comfort: determined by the temperature, humidity, air flow and a person’s physical condition
energy consumption: the amount of energy we use, and the energy used in manufacturing, transporting, constructing, maintaining, and removal of materials to build our homes.
1. Visual comfort
It’s vital to understand how much sunlight the outside and interior of your home is exposed to. One can, accordingly, re-organise interior functions based on the demand for lighting, heating or cooling needs.
During summer, spaces used often during the day, such as your home office, could benefit from being in places that receive less direct sunlight, so are cooler. In winter, consider moving your home office set up to a room with higher levels of direct sunlight, where it’s warmer.
This will naturally reduce the amount of energy needed to cool or heat these rooms while allowing for comfortable working conditions.
Other ways we can find more visual comfort include modifying the size of windows and skylights to let in more sunlight. To diffuse harsh lighting, consider adding screens, sun baffles, overhangs, or pergolas over windows.
You can also replace your lights with LEDs equipped with linear controllers and motion sensors in places where lights tend to be left on. LEDs use around 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs.
2. Thermal comfort
Older homes are incredibly draughty, and a lot of the energy we spend cooling or heating our homes escapes outside due to poor insulation. Retrofitting to improve your home’s natural ventilation can reduce the number of times you need to switch on the heater or air conditioner.
Sealing outside and internal surfaces until they’re airtight is crucial. Different surfaces – whether walls, floors or ceilings – require different methods, types and thicknesses of insulation.
Walls, for instance, ...
13
SEP
5am

The legendary story of the Colonel Potter will get you hooked on the history of fly-fishing in SA

For close to 50 years, it remained the Potter family’s best-kept secret. A secret forged from a twist of a chicken feather, a couple of turns of chenille yarn and a good measure of skill.
Added too are the two cock feathers that make the tail and if all is done right, it transforms into a deadly trout fly. It is called the Colonel Potter and its inventor, Dr Charles Potter, used it to take trophy fish in the streams that cut through eastern Mpumalanga.
When Potter and his two sons went on fishing trips across the country, their fly went too and it didn’t disappoint. It kept taking big fish, in the high mountain dams and rivers of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern Free State.
When Potter’s son Luke was 11 he won the South African Fly Fishing Association cup after he pulled a five-and-half-pound (about 2.5kg) trout from the Spekboom River in Mpumalanga. The big fish fell to a Colonel Potter.
But in January 2019 tragedy struck the Potter family when Luke, their eldest son, was killed in a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Following the death of his son, Potter decided he would reveal the family secret, and the instructions for making the fly were released through the Dullstroom Fly Fishing Association. Anyone could now make their own.
By doing so, the Colonel Potter joined a catalogue of South African-invented flies that not only provide added help in catching fish, but also tell the story of fly-fishing in this country. And it is a story of ingenuity and of at least one eccentric who used his creation to prove a point.
It is debated when a fly rod and fly were first used in South Africa to trick a fish into biting into something it shouldn’t. Perhaps October 1801 when Scottish physician William Somerville is said to have caught a fish using an artificial lure in the Riet River, just north of what is now Sutherland in the Northern Cape.
The fish was most likely a yellowfish and the name of the fly he used to catch it has been lost to time. There is a good chance though that it was an import from the UK.
Most flies, until very recently, were imports. Although fly-fishing author Bill Hansford-Steele did find what is probably South Africa’s earliest locally designed fly. This was the Kom Gouw and it can’t legally be made today. The ...
13
SEP
4am

Huge volume of plastic flood debris trapped inshore by Agulhas Current

During the Resilience oceanographic research cruise on the RV Marion Dufresne in early May 2022, we recorded the amounts and types of litter floating at sea off the east coast of South Africa. It was clear that the devastating April floods dumped huge amounts of litter into the sea.
The April floods in KwaZulu-Natal resulted in the deaths of over 440 people and caused catastrophic damage to infrastructure, but one of the most visible impacts was the massive amounts of litter and other debris washed up along beaches in the area.
Over the Easter weekend alone, more than 40,000 bags of litter were collected from Durban’s beaches. For many years, poor solid waste management in many communities has resulted in large amounts of litter accumulating in river catchments around Durban.
And despite efforts to trap this litter in rivers (e.g. the LitterBoom Project), we have become accustomed to pictures of thousands of plastic bottles and other litter washing up on Durban beaches following rain events. It is thus not surprising that the devastating April floods dumped huge amounts of litter into the sea.
What is less well known is what happens to the litter once it enters the sea. Clearly, some of it quickly washes ashore. A recent study by researchers from the University of Cape Town’s FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Maclean et al, 2021, Marine Pollution Bulletin 173: 113078) showed that litter from Durban’s Mgeni River is transported north towards Mhlanga with the inshore counter-current.
At least 65% of marked litter items washed ashore, with buoyant items being more likely to be recovered on beaches than items closer to the density of seawater, such as flexible packaging (bags and wrappers). It is thus not surprising that drink bottles dominate the mountains of beach litter following the April flood.
During the Resilience oceanographic research cruise on the RV Marion Dufresne in early May 2022, we recorded the amounts and types of litter floating at sea off the east coast of South Africa.
There was no evidence of elevated litter levels in the Agulhas Current off northern KZN (0.2 items/km), but litter was abundant inshore of the current off Durban and south to the Pondoland coast. The presence of large amounts of terrestrial vegetation indicated that the litter was derived from land-based sources.
Much of the litter and vegetation was colonised by goose barnacles, so it had been at sea for a few weeks, consistent with it resulting ...
12
SEP
6pm

Trail of destruction after Free State diamond mine dam burst leaves destitute residents in shock and searching for relatives

Residents of the area devastated by the Jagersfontein diamond mine dam burst stood around in shock on Monday, looking at the destruction of their neighbourhood.
Winston Mohajana (51) was roaming the streets of Jagerfontein in the Free State on Monday, searching for his family. His neighbourhood, Charlesville, was devastated when a tailings dam wall at the Jagersfontein diamond mine broke on Sunday, flooding low-lying houses. Families were evacuated and, according to the latest statistics from the Free State Department of Health, more than 70 people were treated at the local hospital.
“When I came home from work, there was nothing left of my house and I could not find my family. Still, today, I cannot find my wife and kid,” Mohajana said on Monday evening.
He is now staying with a friend and only has the clothes on his back. “I lost everything,” he said.
In photos: See the destructive force of the Jagersfontein mine dam wall collapse
Another resident, Wanda Malunga (62), was making himself a cup of tea on Sunday when he heard screaming. He went outside and saw a massive mudslide approaching fast and destroying everything in its path. His house was destroyed and today only the foundation is left.
Malunga’s sister, Nthabiseng Moloi, said her late husband, who died three years ago, had predicted the disaster. He said the dam wall had been leaking and would rupture eventually.
Residents from the surrounding area stood around in shock on Monday, looking at what remained of their neighbourhood. Houses were flattened and cars swept away.
Some of the residents are being housed with friends and family in the area, and at hotels in Bloemfontein — about 120km away.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
During his visit to the town, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised residents that the government would assist them with clothes, food and accommodation.
In the town centre, a handmade poster reads: “We told them, they did not listen, now this.”
During a meeting with Ramaphosa in the town hall at Fauresmith — the neighbouring town — residents voiced their disappointment that the provincial government had not heeded their warnings that the dam was leaking.
Owners of Free State diamond mine ‘were warned to cease operations two years ago’
Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela and members of her provincial Cabinet have been in the area since Sunday. Search and rescue teams were hard at work on Monday.
Police, Roads and Transport MEC William Bulwane said his ...

195 episodes

« Back 13—24 More »