South African authorities to crackdown on illegal mining

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will be focusing on illegal mining and addressing it ‘quite prominently’.

It comes days after 17 people, including children, were killed from a toxic gas leak in an illegal gold mining operation just outside Johannesburg.

Based on accounts provided by officials and witnesses, it was revealed that a shack served as an impromptu mining site constructed by a group, who are illegal miners known for scavenging abandoned mines throughout South Africa.

The shack was positioned amidst three other shacks occupied by families and the unfortunate incident where a gas cylinder was unintentionally opened, resulting in the release of nitrogen into the nearby shacks.

Tragically anyone within a radius of 100 meters lost their lives.

The president had urged further investigation to get to the bottom of what may have caused this accident to avoid similar disasters in future.

According to estimates from the Institute of Security Studies, approximately 30,000 illegal miners operate in and around numerous abandoned and operational mines throughout South Africa.

The presence of these illicit miners results in substantial financial losses for the country, amounting to an estimated $1.1 million annually in terms of lost sales, taxes, and royalties.

Certain illegal miners receive financial backing from criminal syndicates involved in activities such as arms trafficking and money laundering.

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