Police in Mpumalanga believe they have made a breakthrough in pursuing a syndicate involved in illegal mining in the province.
Equipment worth millions of rand used for illegal mining of coal in the Ogies area has been confiscated, and five people taken in for questioning.
The illegal mining site extraction of coal takes place every day to sell to locals and other clients.
Mpumalanga Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi says:”We got a report that there were people mining illegally here. They load coal in trucks and sell to community members. There are people who have been taken in for question and we are investigating to ensure that we reach the people involved here.”
Seriti Mining Company owns the premises where the illegal activities are taking place.
Police say many other mining companies across the province have registered massive losses due to the unlawful mining.
Hlathi adds:”We believe that this is a syndicate because of the way they operate. We would like to urge members of the community to stop buying goods that have been sourced illegally. As we speak now there are bodies that are still trapped underground at Gloria Coal mine because of this illegal mining.”
The illegal extraction of different minerals across the country has cost the economy billions of rand – undermining economic growth.