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Geohazard Mitigation

• Dr Musa Manzi Foundation Projects •

Musa Manzi Projects - Geohazard-Mitigation

Project Summary

Pretoria, Gauteng

Studying and assessing the impacts of sinkholes on communities

The Dr Musa Manzi Foundation seeks to partner with government sectors, local municipalities, relevant businesses, communities, local schools and academic institutions to solve societal and socio-economic problems. Certain parts of the ground surface of South Africa is prone to sudden, catastrophic collapse which may lead to death, injury or structural damage of buildings and infrastructure. Such features are known as sinkholes and in Gauteng these occur in areas underlain by dolomite rock. Approximately 25% of Gauteng is underlain by dolomite. This poses a potential risk to the safety of many people and the structures in which they work and live.

Sinkholes can occur with little warning; however, cracks in walls or settlement of the ground are often early warning signs of impending sinkhole formation. At least 38 people are known to have died over the last 50 years in South Africa due to sinkhole formation. An estimated cost of the damage caused by sinkholes to date is in excess of R1 billion.

Our initiative is built on the philosophy of taking science back to the community by involving community members in geoscience research processes; individuals who seek to solve their own societal problems. For example, this projects integrates geophysical, hydrological and geological studies to characterise the near-surface environments of the Pretoria area and identify areas that are prone to sudden sinkole collapse. This project has the potential to save lives and prevent infrastructural damage, while educating communities about science.

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