A Laudium homeowner lives in fear her house will sink into the ground after parts of her yard caved into a huge, moving sinkhole in Pretoria at the weekend.
Repairing it is going to cost ratepayers and taxpayers between R40 and R50 million, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said.
Makhura, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi visited the area and affected residents after sections of the R55 road in Laudium collapsed on Saturday evening, leaving two houses near the sinkhole severely damaged.
“Last week, we noticed a few cracks on our wall and we were advised to empty our pool,” said homeowner Zuleka Esmail. “Our wall fell down two days ago. When we went outside, we saw a huge sinkhole was moving towards our neighbour’s house and under the corner of our wall.”
Parts of her garden, house wall and swimming pool were damaged and there was a gaping hole in the corner of her yard.
“I am worried about my house sinking, too, if it travels and goes under our home.
“I have a beautiful home and I don’t know how I will be compensated for this. A lot of money was put into this home. But [the Gauteng government] promised us security and barbed wire and have warned people not to come near,” she said.
Makhura explained that 25% of the province consists of dolomitic land, with Centurion and parts of Laudium being Tshwane’s most affected areas.
Last week, the Gauteng department of roads and transport warned motorists to avoid the R55 as department officials had identified cracks in the road during routine maintenance checks.
“When there is a problem like this sinkhole, we have to respond, whether it was budgeted for or not,” said Makhura.
“The R55 is a very busy road. If this road closes, it would cause huge problems.”
Makhura said that according to the Council for Geosciences, in the past 50 years close to 40 people have been killed by sinkholes in Gauteng.
“For the past few weeks our technical team has been monitoring what is happening in this area almost on a daily basis, and alerting the public.
“No one was injured here and they will continue to monitor any sinkholes developing.”