With the persistent rainfall in the City of Ekurhuleni, the City urges residents to remain vigilant and report any early signs of sinkholes or dolomite to the local authorities. According to a 2010 study, 52% of the land in Ekurhuleni is dolomitic, making it prone to sinkhole development.
Early signs of a developing sinkhole include a house tilting to one side, slight sinking of the ground, and depressions or unexplainable holes in the yard, regardless of their size. Sinkholes are primarily caused by stagnant water and constant water pipe leaks, leading to underground erosion.
To prevent water pipe leaks and mitigate the development of sinkholes, the City is replacing old concrete pipes with more flexible ones that can withstand unstable grounds. The City designed these pipes to move with the shifting earth without breaking.
Residents must seek professional assistance when constructing or extending their homes, as professionals will understand the local building conditions, conduct land surveying, and recommend suitable building materials for specific land conditions.
Suppose residents observe signs of a possible sinkhole or dolomite on their property. In that case, they should contact their local customer care centre or the designated helpline. The City will send a team of experts to inspect the reported incident and assess the risk.
The team may ask occupants to evacuate the affected property. They will cordon off the area to restrict unauthorised access. The experts will conduct a detailed geotechnical investigation to determine the cause and extent of the sinkhole.
The team will then restore the affected area. After completion, the team will inform occupants when they can return.
The public is strongly warned against accessing cordoned-off properties, as doing so can be life-threatening. The decision to evacuate is based on the threat indicated by expert investigations, and disregarding safety measures can lead to unfortunate consequences.
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