Merafong municipality | Old mining towns struggling to cope
The Merafong local municipality says it is faced with a serious challenge of low revenue and a declining economy that has historically been dependent on the mining industry.
The municipality in western Gauteng covers gold mining towns such as Carletonville and townships Khutsong, Wedela and new settlement Elijah Barayi Village, Fochville and its settlements Kokosi, Greenspark and Losberg, Oberholzer and Welverdiend.
Khutsong township embodies much of what has gone wrong on the fringes of old mining towns that have been in decline for decades, leaving behind sinkholes, poor services and crime.
In recent years, houses in Khutsong, west of Johannesburg, have been swallowed up by sinkholes that have developed as a result of mining activity in the nearby Carletonville area under the Merafong municipality.
Residents of Wedela township in Merafong say they have learnt to live with sewage flowing in their homes for some time due to poor infrastructure.
In the Skopang section of the township, residents said they keep their homes closed to keep out the foul smell of sewage flowing in their yards.
One of the residents, Rhee Solwandle, said he has had to live with the problem for about four months.
There is a sense of hopelessness among the youth in Wedela township in Merafong due to the lack of job opportunities in the area.
Khanyisile Dunjana, 29, a graduate, watched in despair as her dream of working for the local municipality disappeared. Dunjana finished her national certificate in office administration in 2014 with high hopes to get employment.
But she has struggled to find a job . Her struggle is mirrored across the township, with young people finding it hard to make a living
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