‘Cheap labour drives illegal mining’

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Advocacy organisation, Bench Marks Foundation, says cheap labour exploited by syndicates drives illegal mining in the country.

On Tuesday, a multi-disciplinary team made up of law enforcement agencies and private security companies carried out a sting operation and arrested more than 40 illegal miners on Gauteng’s West Rand.

This follows the brutal gang rape of eight women in West Village, Krugersdorp, last week by men believed to be illegal miners.

Lead researcher at the foundation, David van Wyk, says government’s failure to enforce the law on the closure and rehabilitation of mines contributes to the problem.

“The situation is really complex and it really is a difficult one that needs resolution. It will only be resolved if the law is applied with regards to how mining operations close down and how they are rehabilitated. But often there’s still enough minerals there for small-scale mining to continue. But there is no plan to shift from large industrial mines to small-scale mining in this country and that’s why there’s so much chaos,” adds Van Wyk.

Below is the full interview with David van Wyk:

Illegal miners arrested

The high-level multidisciplinary operation was spearheaded by Police Minister Bheki Cele, together with Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Elias Mawela and the Hawks.

Police raid Krugersdorp:

Suspects in rape incident appear in court

Meanwhile, the case against 81 suspects who were arrested in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg over the weekend, has been postponed to Wednesday.

The suspects appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Many of them were nabbed on allegations of illegal mining, possession of explosives, stolen goods, illegal firearms and ammunition as well as contravention of the Immigration Act.

Out of the 81 suspects, 20 of them were juveniles.