It’s a giant sinkhole – and it’s growing!

Everson Luhanga

Residents of Motloung Section in Katlehong are terrified of a sinkhole that is threatening to swallow ten houses – and it’s coming closer!

This could leave 50 people homeless.

Philip lives alone in one of the houses because his grandchildren and 69-year-old madala have moved out, fearing that they may be swallowed while in the sinking backrooms.

Sitting in his shaky house, Philip told Scrolla.Africa he goes to the toilet with a cell phone so that if the toilet gets swallowed up, he can call his family members to rescue him. 

“I cannot take chances. Every day the hole gets bigger, wider and deeper and the big tree in the yard is falling toward the hole,” he said.

Next door to Philip lives Sipho Jele. 


“I have been living with a hole in my bedroom for 17 years, more than half of my lifetime,” he said.

Residents are scared that the sinkholes will one day swallow everything they love and know.

Sipho discovered the hole under his bedroom in 2004.

“It scared me. I thought one day the house would just disappear into the ground,” he said.

Sipho said he covered the hole with concrete, but when he walks he can hear the hollow echo of his footsteps coming from under the ground. 

“I’m scared but I have no other place to go,” he said.

Resident, Job Nhlapo, 60, said his outside toilet was demolished when the municipality officials evacuated his neighbours and demolished the house. 

For more than 12 months now, Job has been renting bucket toilets placed in his yard.

Puleng Mosia, 60, said she was born in the house which is falling apart.

She said she has bought materials to renovate the house but she is afraid she will waste them as the house is sinking. 

ANC 107 ward councillor Thabani Goje said he is aware of the issues but funding is a problem. 

“I submitted the report to the department of city planning and we are waiting,” he said.

Thabani confirmed that the problem has been spreading to other houses. 

“It’s a problem that needs high priority attention.”

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