Residents of Centurion are advised to avoid Burgerstraat in Lyttelton, Centurion, after an enormous sinkhole became visible just after 03:00 on Sunday morning.
Several photos of the sinkhole were shared on social media platforms on Sunday. It shows how the sinkhole stretches across the road and has caused extensive damage to several properties in the street.
Walls collapsed and some residents were forced to leave their homes.
David James Farquharson, DA councilor from ward 57, described the sinkhole as “unstable” and says it is still getting bigger.
“The initial estimated size of the sinkhole is 28 m by 16 m, with a depth of approximately 4 m, but it continues to grow.”
According to Farquharson, the Community Policing Forum (CPF) noticed that the hole was getting bigger overnight and immediately notified the authorities and residents in the immediate area.
“The affected properties were subsequently evacuated and the emergency services temporarily blocked the road.”
Farquharson says officials have already asked for the water supply to the area to be cut off, as the sinkhole is being filled with water through a water pipe.
However, a resident of the street whose property is badly affected says that the sinkhole right on her front porch painted a picture of hope for her, rather than devastation.
“I’m under no illusion that it’s a big mess, but my outlook on this is a little different; what I see is a community that stands together in times of need.
“Today I am very proud to say that I live here. Everyone jumped in and helped. Whether you are white, pink, black or blue, and whether you speak English or Afrikaans, here we stand together.”
According to the resident, ward councilors and other residents used their own vehicles in the past two days to make sure residents were safe. They also helped to drive away the affected properties’ furniture, help tear down walls and carry water.
The woman says that amid the disruptive strike by Samwu workers of the Tshwane Metro Council, the local authority continued to offer help and support.
“The sinkhole is nobody’s fault, it is a natural disaster, we live in a dolomite area. Dolomite has cavities under the surface and when they break through, you get sinkholes.
“Nobody was aware of the consequences of the hole. Saturday morning the hole was still small, the morning after it completely collapsed.
“Bad things are going to happen and we can’t do anything about it. We can choose how we respond to it.
“I am proud that my community, despite all the setbacks, still decided to stand together.”