[South Africa] DMR initiates ground stability study in areas affected by illegal mining
The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has initiated a ground stability study to be undertaken in the Johannesburg area with immediate effect.
The study, which will commence shortly through the Council for Geoscience (CGS), an entity reporting to the Department aims to assess whether there is any long-term damage to critical infrastructure installation.
While there is no immediate threat to critical infrastructure as has been claimed, Government wants to confirm this assertion scientifically, and proactively deal with this matter not only in Johannesburg, but in other areas where illegal mining occurs.
The CGS is expected to provide a preliminary report on the matter within two weeks.
The department further emphasizes the importance of active participation by all stakeholders in the established Gauteng Illegal Mining Forum. This Forum, amongst others, deals with immediate pressing matters on illegal mining. This Forum is empowered to suggest and/or take appropriate remedial action in addressing critical concerns.
The Department will continue to work through the National Co-ordination Strategic Management Team (NCSMT), which in turn reports to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cabinet Committee, on how matters of illegal mining are addressed.
The NCSMT consists of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), the South African Police Service (SAPS) [i.e. Directorate for Priority Crimes and Investigation (DPCI)], Visible Policing (VISPOL) and Crime Intelligence (CI)], the National Intelligence and Coordinating Committee (NICOC), the State Security Agency (SSA), the South African Revenue Services (SARS), the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR), the Department of Home Affairs (DoH), the Department of International Relations and Co-ordination (DIRCO) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
The NCSMT was established specifically to co-ordinate government’s efforts to fight illegal mining and the trafficking of precious metals. Other objectives of the NCSMT include bringing about successful prosecution of illegal mining cases, produce policy designed to lead to legislative reform, put in place a strategy to end the illicit trade in precious metals and to increase capacity to deal with illegal mining.
Some of the measures implemented to eradicate the illegal operations include:
- Promotion of legitimate mining
- Rehabilitation of derelict mines and sealing of holes
- Law enforcement and forensic analysis
- Policing and law enforcement
- Law enforcement training workshops on illegal mining
- Physical monitoring by the police will also be encouraged to deal decisively with illegal mining.