KZN illegal mining operations halted

Monday, June 4, 2018

The illegal mining operations in KwaMachi, near Harding, have been halted and the mine has been cordoned off following concerns about the safety of the diggers.

The mining operations began last week after the discovery of what villagers of KwaMachi in KwaZulu-Natal believe to be gold. 

The decision to halt operations was taken by government and community leaders during a stakeholder engagement organised by MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala.

Traditional leaders, mayors, geologists and community leaders raised serious concerns that mining operations were putting the lives of diggers in danger as they were knocked by falling rocks on a daily basis.

The illegal mining was also causing unnecessary tensions among villagers, who were competing for mining space. 

Zikalala said there is currently no evidence that real gold is being mined.

“Geologists from the Department of Mineral Resources will continue to investigate whether or not there is any potential for the exploration of gold in the area. We expect them to give us the final report in the next two months. We call on our people to allow this process to unfold,” he said.

The MEC said the provincial government was worried that the “gold” rush has caused children to stop going to school.

“We have been told that some children no longer go to school. They spend the whole day at the mine and sell stones. This has to end. We have been assured by the law enforcement agencies that the decisions we have taken today will be enforced,” he said. –