There have been calls to grant permits to illegal miners in the Namaqualand, Northern Cape.

This follows the death of two illegal miners at Kleinzee on Sunday night.

Police say three men were digging tunnels under a road in the former mining town, when the tunnels collapsed.

A sole survivor, 22-year-old Remarco Mountain’s father says his back was injured. “I fear for his life, but we don’t have a choice. We need to put bread on the table.”

Illegal miners say accidents like this can be avoided, if they are granted permits.

They currently mine in darkness, with poor equipment . Kleinzee was once owned by De Beers and the area is still diamond rich.

It’s estimated that more than 400 illegal miners come to this area every night in search of diamonds.