Pumula residents, Chinese miner clash over noise

Some commuter omnibuses are shunning the Pumula North route because of the bad state of roads caused by heavy duty trucks carrying quarry.

RESIDENTS of Bulawayo’s Pumula North suburb are up in arms against a Chinese quarry mining company for noise pollution as well as destroying road infrastructure in the suburb.

Some commuter omnibuses are shunning the Pumula North route because of the bad state of roads caused by heavy duty trucks carrying quarry.

Hualin Investments (Pvt) Limited was given the nod to set up the quarry mine in 2021 by the Bulawayo City Council and the contract is valid for 10 years.

The company is conducting quarry mining behind Pumula High School in the area, but the majority of residents have been against the venture.

“The infrastructure in the constituency is under threat of destruction, with some of houses around the mine now having cracks due to heavy blasting at the mine, while roads have also been damaged by heavy duty trucks,” a resident told Southern Eye in an interview recently.

Another resident only identified as Nyoni said the company had failed to live up to its promises to compensate residents for the damage to their houses.

“There is still nothing yet the trucks continue destroying our roads and houses,” he said.

Another resident, Sikhumbulelo Dube, appealed to the Chinese miner to refurbish his cracked house.

“They stopped their heavy blasting after realising the impact of the damage to our houses,” Dube said

Residents from the peri-urban Methodist village also expressed concern that the mine was encroaching onto their grazing land.

“Our livestock are now having to feed on plants that are polluted with dust,” said Monica Dube, a resident.

Ward 17 councillor Sikhululekile Moyo confirmed the damage to the roads by heavy duty trucks.

Moyo, however, commended the mine for employing locals.

“What I know is that three-quarters of children with qualifications are from Pumula,” she said.

Hualin Investments spokesperson Rodrick Moyo said the company’s operations followed due processes and were monitored by inspectors from the Mines and Mining Development ministry.

“The mine has also implemented safety measures to warn residents living near the mine, including using notices, sirens and human personnel,” Moyo said.

He claimed that the company was ploughing back to the community through corporate social responsibility programmes.

“The engagements have seen investments in local primary and secondary schools within ward 17 for infrastructural development,” he said.

“The Hualin scholarship programme pays school fees and registration for O-Level examinations for selected underprivileged students.

“Water infrastructure is part of the 2024 development projects, and Babambeni Primary School has already benefited from a water kiosk to alleviate water challenges faced by locals.”

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