Members of Bloemfontein’s Heidedal community can finally look forward to having a fence around the controversial quarry that has been making headlines for the past few years.
Nicholas Fountain, whose father Ted owns the land where the quarry is, confirmed that plans to enclose the quarry with a high quality, two meter parameter fence are underway.
Presently, only fence posts have been inserted in the land. However, there remain challenges with the development. One such challenge is a threat of theft from the fence posts from community members which may delay the process.
Another challenge, as Fortune explains is the costs associated with closing off the area from the public can cost them up to R5 million and as it must also adhere to strict regulations. Fountain, who is also working as a land developer on the upcoming Witherow Dam Development, which promises commercial and residential developments in the area, says the fence may very well only be finished by the time the organization sells its first residential property, which he estimates to be in April or May 2017. “Contrary to popular belief, we do not have the money to fence off the quarry as quickly as people think we can,“ Fortune said.
Social activist and winner of the “Heidedaller of the Year” award, Gregory Werner says though he’s received no official communication from the Fountains, he says he and the community are just happy that no more children will drown in the quarry.
This year, 16 year old Justin Jacobs drowned in the quarry after reportedly having gone for a swim with his friends. He was found in the quarry five days after it was reported that he had drowned.