South Africa. A Mamelodi woman lost her life and two others were injured after rocks collapsed on them at a quarry in Mamelodi Extension 17.
The other two women were taken to Mamelodi Hospital.
According to residents, the quarry was left unattended after contractors ended their work there in 2000 and it then became a Health and Safety hazard.
The locals collect the stones, known as Mmobu or Matlapa, and sell them on a large scale to vendors and traditional healers. The stones are usually collected from mountainous areas around Mamelodi and Laudium.
According to one traditional leader, the stones are a source of iron for the body. The stones are a thriving income source and people come from as far as Atteridgeville and Soshanguve to collect them.
The stones are usually sold for about 50c each, or R2 per packet by the vendors in the Pretoria city center. Mamelodi Ward 17 Councillor, Sizwe Mthethwa reported that a week prior to the accident, there had been a meeting with the locals to discuss the danger of the exposed quarry.
A resident of the area reported that local leaders had been asked to rope off the area but it was still left exposed.
The people collecting the stones reportedly risk their lives but are left with no other choice as they have no other means of income.
There is also the risk of various crimes including rape as no person, group of people or organisation has taken responsibility for the area.
Jaqueline Mofokeng, a community Safety portfolio chairperson, voiced her dismay at the disregard that the contractors had when they left the site exposed without assuring the Health and Safety of the residents.
Source: Pretoria News