Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

minerTimesLive reports that some experts say that zama zamas are not committing a crime and that is why the government should decriminalise illegal mining.  

Meschack Mbangula of the Mining Affected Communities United in Action group stated:  "We've been trying to engage the Department of Mineral Resources and the government to decriminalise the zama zamas and ensure they are safe.  They contribute a lot to the economy because a lot of the minerals end up back in the formal market, and they are selling it for a lot less than big mines do.  They are not committing any crimes.  Yes, they are breaking the law doing these things, but all they are trying to do is put bread on the table."  More than 40 illegal miners died in Welkom last week after an underground explosion.  Robert Thornton, who has done a lot of research on illegal mining, agreed with Mbangula, saying that legalised informal mining would allow more protection for zama zamas.  Last week, the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) demanded that "these super-exploited workers be legalised, trained and given the opportunity to work.  The Department of Mineral Resources and the Chamber of Mines of SA, however, remain steadfast in their stance against illegal mining.

  • Read this report by Jan Bornman in full at TimesLive
  • Read too, Illegal miners in fight with giant diamond producer over dump, at TimesLive

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page