Gauteng legislature wants total eradication of illegal mining

The Gauteng provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety has called for a total eradication of illegal mining across the province.

The call follows the tragic loss of lives at Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg. At least 17 people were killed when a nitrate gas started to leak on Wednesday evening. A further 11 people have been hospitalised.

In a statement, the committee noted allegations that the gas cylinder that caused the catastrophic incident was part of an illegal mining operation carried out by zama-zamas in the area.

“We are saddened by these events. Over the years, Gauteng has recorded countless deaths of innocent residents as a result of illegal mining activity that occasionally springs up in different parts of the province,” said Bandile Masuku, chairperson of the committee.

“The committee calls on law-enforcement agencies to set up dedicated and special units that will see the complete eradication of illegal mining activity in the province.”

Meanwhile, the families that lost loved ones are pleading with government to assist them with funeral costs.

Ekurhuleni mayor Sivuyile Ngodwana pledged the municipality’s support to the affected families.

“As the City of Ekurhuleni, we would like to send our condolences to all the families of Angelo and all the families that have lost their loved ones,” said Ngodwana.

“I know this is a difficult time that we are in and it’s a very shocking tragedy. But we hope that God will be with all the people that have suffered a loss.

“With the community of Angelo and the city, we promise to give all the necessary support that they need.”


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