Thursday, September 17, 2009

Government works hard to crush illegal mining syndicates

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 September 2009


Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu says government is taking strong action to fight illegal mining and criminal syndicates are feeling the heat.

The minister said the newly formed Hawks had been tasked to crack down on illegal mining and syndicates involved in gold smuggling.

In a media statement Shabangu said illegal mining impacts negatively on the economy, robbing our country and its people of valuable resources which could otherwise have been used to improve the lives of poor people.

She said illegal mining syndicates operating both locally and internationally, were sophisticated, well-organised and heavily armed.

She made an example of Barberton, where shootouts are becoming a daily occurrence.

The minister, together with a delegation of ministers from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster will soon visit some of the affected areas to assess further action to deal comprehensively with the issue of illegal mining.

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