New sinkholes could form in the Merafong area after R118m was spent on their rehabilitation in the sinkhole-plagued district west of Johannesburg, the municipality’s acting executive director Hein Bredenkamp said on Tuesday. Sinkholes in the area happen when acidic water dissolves the dolomitic rock substrate and cavities form, causing the surface to collapse. The Merafong area is highly dolomitic and has experienced many sinkhole events, some of which are associated with gold mining. The mining towns of Carletonville and Fochville fall within the Merafong municipal area. The Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre declared a local disaster at Merafong in 2017. Nine sites were identified for short-term interventions, for which the R118m disaster relief was earmarked. Bredenkamp said new sinkholes could form if water leaks persisted in areas where the rehabilitation was done, but that when leaks did occur the municipality repaired them. Earlier, DA MPL Ina Cilliers said after a...

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