Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Mine Blasting Blows Poisonous Air Over our Community

12 November 2021

Ronald Mhlakaza.

Vosman. Emalahleni, Mpumalanga

Mines that are around the whole Kwa Guqa area especially Vosman conduct regular blasting to extract the coal. All the dust after the blasting moves over the communities that are near the mine. People living there breath this polluted air.  As humans we have to breath regardless of the conditions that we live in. We feel that we are not being protected by our Government.

This problems that the Schoongezight mine  which does the blasting operate as normal. They  don’t see any problem in what they are doing.

 The community of Kwa Guqa and Vosman are most affected by this mine air pollution. They are affected on daily basis. It’s very sad because people are affected emotionally, mentally,  and health wise. They have no alternative because they are forced to live under these conditions. Children in Schools  are also affected by the mind blasting since they blast  during school hours.

All the dust goes straight to the community the houses turn to red or brown due to the dust.  Everything  in the home becomes dusty.  People  in the community and in the classrooms are inhaling chemicals present in the dust .

Our organisations addresses this issues by making the community aware that rights have been violated. As activists we conduct awareness raising workshops concerning environment issues. It is very much important for the community to know that their  health issues and air pollution is caused  by the mines that are around .

We are engaging with the municipality concerning this issues and to hold the mines accountable for all this pollution that they cause. Something must be done to assist the affected people as we know polluters must pay not only pay but take responsibility as well .

16th September 201

Ronald Mhlakaza.

I believe breathing is not a choice but something that we have to do in our daily lives but the Community of Vosman have found themselves having no choice but to breath polluted air every day,. The community of Vosman have no where to run nor hide as its been years living under this hell called city of coal.

Vosman is surrounded by industries, Coal fired power stations, coal Mining and their daily operations is affecting people’s lives because they don’t just pollute, people are sick .It affects everyone ,people are suffering from diseases like asthma Chronic disease, lung cancer, Sinuses.

Blasting from the nearby surrounding opencast mines courses cracks in their houses dust goes straight to the community causing sickness, shortage of water as the water is been polluted, also affects the electricity.

We think the industries should reduce their emissions, the coal mines should finish the coal and close down the mines because they have already started, and Air Quality officials must make sure that Air Quality Act is being followed and compliance be done CEO’s must be hold accountable for the pollution as there is no accountability and transparency in the departments.

11 August 2019

Promise Mabilo,

Mpumalanga, Emalahleni, Empumelelweni,

Poor Air Quality in EMalahleni.

Living in eMalahleni is like living in a very dark pit ,as lot of woman and children are more affected by the poor air quality in the area . The most affected people are you woman who have to carry the burden of taking care of their children sick family members. One single parent around Empumelelweni shared her own story of living in this difficult situation.

My child started with asthma and more comes to her life she then diagnosed of high blood then low blood now kidneys but she was born in healthy and active child now her life is miserable as she is now goes to the hospital for dialysis 3 times a week. She start at school in the morning after school she will go to the hospital for her treatment.
The saddest part no transport to take her back home by 08h00 he will enter in the house and sometimes I have to wait for her where the taxi drops her off, it is very hard sometimes I don’t even have money to transport her because am not working, the luckiest part is that she is having a medical aid but I can’t say it helps to the fullest because when the money runs out is a very big problem, as a mother is so painful…cries I wonder how many women out there experience this, I wish I know so that we can fight the health system is not fair to us.

May 2019

Andrew Matshiane,

Mpumalanga, Emalahleni,Vosman,

Causes air pollution in the highveld region
The problem that we experience in Emalahleni, Vosman area is air pollution caused by the mines near us. On 24 April 2019 as communities around Emalahleni, Vosman and all Extensions (Ezinambeni) we had a respiratory health problem dialogue whereby during the dialogue, a mine worker who understands the impacts of mining and the dangers it poses to the affected communities. ” He said we all know that the coal fired power stations, the coal mines are the cause of the pollution in our region and that’s why it is like this”. He pointed out that we as communities are victims and that mines and our government are doing nothing about it and that health risks are big in the communities than in the mining industry because the mines have doctors and good machines that screen their health so that they can be able to treat the illnesses and that’s why mine workers are healthy than the community members. He also said instead of saying let’s close the mines why can’t we ask all those mines to build clinics for the communities affected, equip them with qualified Doctors, nurses and put in all the necessary machines, to adopt all the big hospitals and clinics and also allocate doctors and nurses.
It is true the coal dust from the mines are a problem, a big serious problem and its dangerous because people are sick because of the air pollution.
By Andrew Matshiane
Vosman, Sinqobile environmental group