Khutsong school affected by sinkhole still under lockdown

Relebogile Secondary School in Khutsong, Carletonville might not open its gates for a long time after being affected by a sinkhole in February.

This is according to the department of infrastructure development, which confirmed that it is still running the dolomite stability assessment which is not near completion.

Pupils were placed in container classrooms near the original school premises to continue teaching and learning after missing out on the syllabus for three months. Grade 12 pupils resumed effective teaching and learning at a local hall during this period.

The temporary structures might end up being more permanent, as a source claims the school might be in danger of more sinkholes.

Victor Moreriane, spokesperson for the department, said education cannot resume as the department still needs to understand the risks of having more sinkholes at the school.

He said the sinkholes in Carletonville, which is a mining area, are caused by dolomite.

“Following the sinkhole incident at the school, the entire facility was decanted and learners moved to temporary structures comprising mobile fabricated structures as per the intervention by the department of education,” said Moreriane.

“With dolomite prevalence in the area, it is assumed that the sinkhole has been caused by the dolomite. In line with Council for Geo Science guides and dolomite risk protocols, the entire school is being subjected to dolomite stability assessment.

“This scientific exercise will indicate the actual cause of the sinkhole, risk exposure for the entire facility, required remedial action and preventative measures to be deployed.”

The department had reported that Merafong has experience over 219 sinkhole incidents which forced at least 77 families to leave their homes, with at least 25% of Gauteng underlain by dolomite.

He said a geo-technical team was appointed to run the assessment and discover if any part of the school can be used while remedial action unfolds.

He further explained that the outcome of the geo-technical investigation and proposed interventions will determine the period required to redress the future of the school.

The incident did not cause any danger to life as pupils had taken time off due to a strike over a lack of study materials and furniture.

Attempts to reach Steve Mabona, spokesperson for education department, drew a blank.


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