Government and community leaders agree to end Kwamachi Gold Mine operations
The mining operations which began last week after the discovery of what villagers of KwaMachi, near Harding, believe is gold will stop and the so-called mine will be cordoned off.
The decision was taken by government and community leaders in KwaMachi during a stakeholder engagement organised by Mr Sihle Zikalala, the KwaZulu-Natal leader of government business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
The stakeholders, who comprised of traditional leaders, mayors, geologists and community leaders, raised serious concerns that mining operations were putting the lives of diggers in danger as they were knocked by falling rocks on a daily basis. The illegal mining was also causing unnecessary tensions among villagers who compete for mining space.
Speaking after the stakeholder engagements, Mr Zikalala said: We have all agreed that there is currently no evidence that what is being mined here is real gold and we have agreed to ensure that no mining activities take place. Geologists from the Department of Mineral Resources will continue to investigate whether or not there is any potential for the exploration of gold in the area. We expect them to give us the final report in the next two months. We call on our people to allow this process to unfold,
Zikalala said the provincial government was worried that the gold rush had also led to children missing classes. We have been told that some children no longer go to school. They spend the whole day at the mine and sell stones. This has to end. We have been assured by the law enforcement agencies that the decisions we have taken today will be enforced.
Source: Government of South Africa