Parliament, Monday, 12 September 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy together with the Portfolio Committee on Police and the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs concluded a two-day joint oversight visit to illegal mining hotspots in Limpopo Province over the weekend.

The committees met with senior officials from the three departments and communities affected by illegal mining, and also conducted site visits to some of the sites where illegal mining is happening.

Officials from the departments of Mineral Resources and Energy and Police told the committees that illegal mining is on the rise in the Sekhukhune, Mopani, Capricorn and Waterberg districts, especially in abandoned and unused mines.

Home Affairs reported about the high number of undocumented foreign nationals from countries such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Congo and Nigeria, who are involved in this illegal activity. Not only are the illegal miners unlawfully digging precious minerals such as gold, platinum and chrome, they are reportedly also terrorising communities and committing heinous crimes, including rape, murder and electricity cable theft.

There were also reports that investigations into illegal mining syndicates linked some to politicians in foreign countries where they fund election campaigns from the profits of illegal mining.

Community policing forums raised a concern about under-resourced police stations in the province, which makes it difficult to fight illegal mining and other crimes in the province.

The committees also advised the police and border security officials to refrain from accepting bribes from illegal miners and undocumented foreigners, as this was worsening criminal activities and the problem of illegal migration in the country.

Members of the three committees were concerned that abandoned and unused mines provide opportunities for illegal mining. They appealed to mining companies and the department to come up with a solution to secure and rehabilitate abandoned mines. The committees also directed the three departments to put in place strict measures in the identified areas. Some of these issues will be raised with the National Police Commissioner on Wednesday this week when he appears before the Portfolio Committee on Police.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY MR SAHLULELE LUZIPO, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS MR MOSA CHABANE, AND THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMIITEE ON POLICE MR KNOCKS SEABI.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairpersons, please contact:

Name: Sakhile Mokoena
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 081 705 2130
E-mail: smokoena@parliament.gov.za