North West Premier, Prof. Tebogo Job Mokgoro believes the integrated approach in combating illegal mining activities must be strengthened to achieve greater results.
Premier Mokgoro made the remarks during his visit to Matlosana Local Municipality following the discovery of 20 dead bodies suspected to be that of illegal miners near Lawrence Park’s mine ventilation shaft which is no longer operational in Orkney near Klerksdorp.
Premier Mokgoro said the situation is very much unacceptable and this calls for immediate action.
“The situation calls for drastic deliberate action that should happen almost immediately. I made it very clear that we have to strengthen our integrated approach towards dealing with illegal mining. Our efforts must be more sustainable and long-lasting in terms of effectiveness.
We really believe that not sufficient role players have been taking part in operations. Going forward we will pull all resources together to combat, counter and eradicate this menace completely” remarked Premier Mokgoro.
In his visit, Premier Mokgoro was accompanied by MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari as well as the Acting Provincial Commissioner-General Dintletse Molefe.
Before the inspection, Premier received a report on efforts by the South African Police which included different operations geared towards dealing with the illegal mining.
The reports painted a sophisticated operation by the heavily armed illegal miners in different Matlosana municipality towns. Over 50 people have been arrested in different operations and gold material as well as firearms were seized. They are still appearing in court.
MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management Sello Lehari said residents’ needs to work with the police to arrest those who are behind these operations which are problematic to the communities in the area.
“Police are on high alert and investigation are ongoing. Others have been deployed in the identified hot spots. We are expecting more arrests soon. Residents must work with us and give us the necessary information. Thus far the information that came through is not enough. We need to educate our people to work with the police and inform us because the perpetrators are part of our communities. Indeed an integrated will go a long way in dealing with the illegal miners” said MEC Lehari.
Sustainable joint operations are expected to ensue in due course.