The Bench Marks Foundation says the government’s failure to enforce the law and hold the relevant people accountable is a major cause of crime in mining communities.
Police Minister Bheki Chele visited the crime scene at Imbizo in Krugersdorp’s West Village after a week of protests over the gang-rape of eight women at an abandoned mine.
Illegal miners are believed to be behind the attacks, and community members and police have spent the past few days tracking down the so-called zama zamas.
Mining analyst from The Bench-Marks Foundation’s David Van Wyk says the police should have started when the big mining companies left 6 000 mines across the country.
“So, basically, what we’re seeing here is a class action in terms of a government that seems perfectly willing to accept the crimes of the very rich, but to act very quickly against what is perceived to be the crimes of the very poor. In Gauteng alone, we have 38,000 small-scale miners. Does the government intend to imprison 38,000 people? Where to put people in prisons and so on. The the reason we’re in this situation is because the government doesn’t enforce its own mining laws,” says Van Wyk.
Mining analyst: David van Wyk reflects on illegal mining in South Africa
The Ministry of Police will on Sunday morning launch a two-day event with West Village residents in Krugersdorp and Kagiso to meet the needs of the police.
this after eight women were allegedly gang-raped by illegal miners during the filming of a music video last week. The community subsequently went on a rampage, burning property they believed was being used by illegal miners.
National Police Commissioner General Fani Masemola, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and senior mineral resources and energy officials are expected to attend.
Spokesman of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lirhandzu Temba, says “To combat illegal mining and crime caused by illegal operations, the Department of Police and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will this weekend engage communities living in the epicenter of illegal mining in Gauteng. Izimbizo Crime Control aims to provide a platform for residents to discuss and engage with the SAPS on identified crimes affecting the community and to set up immediate and long-term police intervention.“