The government has been urged to establish a specialist mining police unit to combat and prevent illegal mining.
This comes on the backdrop of public outrage at the gang rape of eight women who were shooting a music video near a mine dump in Krugersdorp.
This was followed by multiple sting operations which resulted in the arrests of 189 illegal miners and immigrants.
Fourteen of those have since been charged with the rape of the eight women.
Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive, Tebello Chabana, says the sector is facing an unprecedented crisis in security and crime.
“It’s really quite an extensive criminal organisation. You need specialised police to be able to combat them essentially in terms of numbers and in terms of firepower and in terms of know-how. So, we need not only the policing side that is well resourced, capable of identifying for instance chrome as opposed to rock, they know the difference, and capable of also meeting with them tactically, (but) we also need some supporting legislation to criminalise some of the activities they do,” explains Chabana.
Below is the full interview with Tebello Chabana:
Earlier, the Bench Marks Foundation said the government’s failure to implement the law and hold relevant people accountable is the major cause of crimes in mining communities.
Police Minister Bheki Cele attended a crime scene in Imbizo at West village in Krugersdorp, following a week of protests on the back of the gang rapes of eight women at an abandoned mine.
It’s alleged that illegal miners were behind the attacks, and community members and police have spent the past few days rounding up so-called zama zamas (illegal miners).
Mining analyst from Bench-Marks Foundation, David Van Wyk, says policing should have started when big mining companies abandoned 6 000 mines across the country.
The video below is reporting that zama zamas’ operations demolished in Bekkersdal: