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Sinking ground in backyard concerns city residents

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The hole has become a topic of conversation among the residents with some suspecting that it might be a sinking grave, while others believe it could be a sinkhole.

RESIDENTS of Lerato Park in Kimberley have expressed concern about what appears to be a sinking grave in a local backyard.

The owner of the property where the collapsing ground was first noticed on Monday, has expressed his frustration at not being able to contact anyone at the Sol Plaatje Municipality to deal with the issue.

Several members of the public have expressed similar concerns about the municipality’s customer care line which, they say, remains unanswered.

The hole has become a topic of conversation among the residents with some suspecting that it might be a sinking grave, while others believe it could be a sinkhole.

Some residents pointed out that a mine operated in the area until the seventies and believe that someone could have been buried on the site.

Other residents believe that it could be a tunnel linked to the mine.

Their fears escalated when they realised on Friday morning that the hole was developing “cracks” on its sides.

The residents have urged the municipality to respond as soon as possible, citing fears for their safety and that of their children.

“We are scared that our shacks might collapse into this hole. We need to know if the sinking ground is harmless or what. If we cannot get satisfactory answers, we want alternative land for our shacks.”

The owner of the property, Thabo Mothami, questioned whether the land had been surveyed, as indicated by the municipality.

According to Mothami, the residents were moved from Riemvasmaak two years ago with promises of better municipal services.

“We now have to act as gatekeepers as the children are inquisitive and want to see what has happened,” said Mothami on Friday.

“We hope that the municipality does not wait for a disaster to happen before doing something.

“We need a team of experts to do a proper inspection to determine what is happening.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality later on Friday assured residents that there were no sinkholes in Kimberley.

According to municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie, similar inquiries previously had been disproved by the geology of Kimberley.

“The geology of Kimberley does not have sinkholes,” said Matsie.

“One must remember that this area used to be a mining area until 1974.”

He added that emergency services would be notified if something happened.