Home News Mineshaft collapses in city woman’s backyard

Mineshaft collapses in city woman’s backyard


20 metre hole next to house in Hull Street housing project

This Hull Street house was built around an unused mine shaft, which has collapsed, leaving a 20 metre hole in the backyard. Photo: Soraya Crowie

A CITY resident woke up yesterday morning to discover a massive unused mineshaft next to her house.

The massive hole appeared next to the house, which is part of the Hull Street housing project, after the layer of soil which covered the shaft caved in.

The homeowner, Sarah Matshidisho, estimated that the soil fell about 20 metres down the shaft.

“The hole is situated right under the foundation of my bedroom. Heavy rains could result in the entire house coming down.

“When the shaft collapsed this morning I thought it was an earthquake. I went outside and saw that the hole was now much wider and deeper.”

According to Matshidisho she moved into the house about a year ago and first noticed the hole in February this year.

“Although the developers filled the hole on a previous occasion, yesterday’s collapse was the biggest so far. The hole has never been this deep.”

She added that she felt unsafe as her sister’s children and children in the neighbourhood came to play in her yard.

Neighbours in the area were concerned that their properties might also fall victim to unused mineshafts in the area.

“If I knew that there was a mineshaft here I would never have bought this house. We were not informed about the holes that will now reduce the value of the property.

“We do not know how many people will soon have sinkholes on their doorsteps. It is like a ticking time bomb.”

The developer, Henk Janse van Rensburg, yesterday explained that the house was built around the unused mineshaft.

“This is the only old mineshaft in the area.

“The owner was made aware of it before she moved into the house.

“The structure was designed around the mineshaft and was constructed in consultation with an engineer, like a double storey house.

“There is no danger of the house collapsing and it is not a serious issue.”

Janse van Rensburg added that the foundation was reinforced with more than double the thickness of an average steel beam structure.

“We have filled the hole in the past and are willing to fill it again.”