The government was urged to establish a specialized mining police unit to combat and prevent illegal mining.
It comes amid public outrage over the gang-rape of eight women filming a music video near a mine dump in Krugersdorp.
This was followed by numerous special operations that led to the arrests of 189 illegal miners and immigrants.
Fourteen of them were accused of raping eight women.
Minerals Council of South Africa’s chief executive of public relations and transformation, Thebela Chabana, says the sector is facing an unprecedented security and crime crisis.
“This is really quite a branched criminal organization. You need a specialized police to be able to fight them, mostly in terms of numbers, firepower and know-how. So not only do we need a well-resourced police side that is able to identify, for example, chrome as opposed to rock, they know the difference and are able to deal with them tactically, (but) we also need some supporting legislation to criminalize certain types activities they are engaged in,” Chabana explains.
Below is the full interview with Tebela Chabana:
The Bench Marks Foundation has previously said that 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 targeting the so-called zama zamas (illegal miners).
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.
The video below reports that the zama zamas business has been destroyed in Bekkersdal: