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Spotlight on mine dumps near Soweto after complaints

Experts say the mine dust contains lethal chemicals with residents complaining of various ailments.

This undated image shows a view of a mine underground. Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Government has been called on to take urgent action in parts of Soweto after residents complained of becoming ill from mine dust.

Experts say the dust contains lethal chemicals with residents complaining of various ailments.

Soweto residents have also complained about a disused mine, which experts say is a health hazard.

An investigation has been launched after a number of Soweto residents living near mine dumps complained of respiratory problems.

Researcher David van Wyk of the Bench Marks Foundation says they tested the air in five Soweto communities living near mine dumps comparing their results with tests in Mahikeng.

He says there was a distinct difference.

Van Wyk says there are many harmful materials in the air near mine dumps in Soweto.

“Respiratory problems in Soweto are really high.”

The Department of Minerals Resources has confirmed it is looking into the effects of dust and acid mine drainage in Gauteng, but van Wyk says no specific action has been taken in Soweto.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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