Kagiso Modikoe by Ekurhuleni Environmental Organisation
Kwa Thema is a township which was built where it use to be Vlakfontein mining area and other small mines as well. Kwa Thema is in South Africa in the east of Johannesburg, in a town called Springs and most of the people come from Paynville were they were moved by apartheid Government.
Shaft 5 was left behind by Vlakfontein Mining section called Interland. Near the shafts are two schools one is Phulong Secondary School and the other one is Phelang School for handicapped children. The children pass near the shaft when going or coming from school every day, the shaft is not secured at all. Already, we have lost three kids according to the family of Mkhwanazi. Pat who is the Street community leader in Interland section said they tried many times and they have failed talking to the local government unfortunately they can’t get hold of Vlakfontein mine owners.
When talking to the ward counselor, Dora. She told me that place was suppose to be made train station that was the plan from the local Government by Kwelemthini in 2008 and the aim was the train will be running from Duduza via Tsakane to Kwathema. Unfortunately Kwelemthini passed away and she will try and get more information about the plan. The question we ask is that: In mean time, what are they doing to protect the community? She indicated that she will take the matter up and see if they can’t get hold of any information leading them to Vlakfontein mine owners.
We as EEO have already organised paint to on the wall of the shaft we struggling to get the right stepladder so that we can make everybody aware of the danger we are facing.