Today's Labour News

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southafricalogoAfro Voice reports that the government has stepped up efforts to regulate illegal mining by granting licences to over 4,000 zama zamas (illegal miners) in the Northern Cape.  But, some stakeholders have warned that criminal syndicates are likely to fight back.  

Cornelius Manhe of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is wary about the move by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).  He said it would not stem the violence and corruption that was part and parcel of illegal mining in the country.  “We think the government could have handled the matter differently because it does not mean the havoc in the industry will end.  Our view is the mining houses should absorb the workers instead of the government giving them permits.  This will not solve anything or end their infighting,” he indicated.  Manhe said the union would be engaging on a way forward and would be talking to the department, which was finalising the Mining Charter.  Manhe’s comment came against the background of an underground industry where gang kingpins, sellers and buyers of illegal minerals allegedly work in cahoots with police, private security guards and state prosecutors in a highly sophisticated racket.  The Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, recently said the department would deal with the problem of illegal mining by “formalising ‘artisanal mining’ and ‘junior mining’ to regulate them”.

  • Read more of this report by Tiisetso Manoko, Dikeledi Molobela and Bonolo Selebano at SA Labour News

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page