Mineral resources committee condemns shootout between illegal miners


Parliament, Thursday, 13 August 2015 – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources is shocked by the alleged shootout between illegal miners at an old mine near Daveyton in Gauteng as reported in the media this morning. 


 “We condemn this kind of behavior with the strongest contempt it deserves. These reckless shootouts not only put the lives of the community at risk, but they also results in unnecessary loss of lives,” said Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, Committee Chairperson. Mr Luzipo said the violence exacerbated the situation of illegal mining in the area. This means there is a possibility that at least two crimes are being committed – the use of illegal firearms and illegal mining.


 Through its oversight visit to the derelict mines in Gauteng last year, the Committee learned with dismay about the alarming rate at which illegal mining activities in the province were taking place. The Committee further made an assessment that people who were involved in illegal mining disrespected the rule of law.


However, the Committee remains confident that a partnership between law enforcement agencies together with the community could end these illegal activities. “Although we call on the Department of Mineral Resources to fast-track the closing and sealing off open shafts at derelict mines, we also appeal to all our law enforcement agencies to double their efforts in investigating the main ring leaders and masterminds who continues to trade in illegal gold,” said Mr Luzipo.