JERUSALEMA IN BOKSBURG
COMMUNITY AFFECTED BY WAIST AND TAILINGS DAM
Jerusalema is in Boksburg in Ekurhuleni east of Johannesburg. Jerusalema is an informal settlement which started in 1998-1999 people moved to the area because of work in different mines like Anglo Gold and Trichard mine, Jerusalema in the bible is a place of honey and milk but here is waist and tailings dam which cause acid mine drainage.
COMMUNITY
On the 22nd March we visited the area Meshack and Sandile, we manage to get hold of Mr Mthembu and Ndlovu who are the community leaders of Jerusalema. We first interview mr Mthembu about the history of the place and the community, he arrived in Jerusalem in late 1997 not sure of the month and work at Trichard mine for 8years and the mine closed down in 2005 since then he is living on waist collecting scrap for living and his family as well as the community around, they decided to form a committee which will have to represent them to the local Government unfortunately for them they did not know which ward they belong to so they wrote a letter to boksburg municipality which was raising concern of service delivery and the waist that is being dumped near their area and is causing lot of flies and rats which in return causes lot of sickness because children play in the dumping area. Secondly most of the community survive by searching for scrap metals to sell them and pick up food that is expired from the local supermarkets. Since the wrote that letter the was no response what so ever.
Second interview: Mr Ndlovu he arrive in the area in 1999 early and worked at Anglo mine as contract worker till 2003 and they were retrenched and since then he could not get any employment so they were forced to resort to illegal mining which did not last long because it was becoming difficult for them to go down the mine and come out so everybody is living by picking up expired food and scrap metals. In 2008 the Municipality responded to them after a lot of efforts were engage with them by putting bucket system toilets and water taps in certain places not each every household, since then nothing happen.
Monitors: On the 27th of March we went to the Municipality at Boksburg to try and find out about Jerusalema and developmental problems in the area, we encountered problems to get hold of responsible official but the lady who did not to mentioned indicated that, the community living in that area are there illegally but the municipality tried to give them water and disposable toilets for now. We manage to set up an appointment for a meeting with the Municipality and the relevant councilor on the 17th of April 2013 and the agreed that we must bring Mr Ndlovu and Mr Mthembu.
Both Mr Ndlovu and Mr Mthembu agreed.
The community of Jerusalema did not agree on us taking photos but we manage to take few of the place they live in. The project continues.
From EKURHULENI ENVIRINMENATAL ORG
MESHACK MBANGULA, SANDILE NOMBENI