South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy (DRME), Gwede Mantashe has blamed foreigners for the rampant illegal mining in the country.
Addressing media at the Mining Indaba 2024, Mantashe compared illegal miners to cash heist robbers tormenting the country
“The majority of illegal miners are foreigners from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique,” said Mantashe, citing that the last official statistics figure indicates that the country was recording over R41 billion in illegal mining leakages.
The Investing in African Mining Indaba is the continent’s biggest mining jamboree for deal sourcing and corporate matchmaking for the African mining industry.
This year, the Mining Indaba is being held under the theme: ‘Embracing the power of positive disruption: A bold new future for African mining’, to encourage and support the needed change and disruption the African mining industry needs to move forward.
The minister has also bemoaned that mine workers unions are exposing their members to danger through sit-in strikes.
“It’s not the best strategy, it exposes union members to danger – rockfall and methane,” said Mantashe.
The minister said the strategy gives employers an opportunity to retrench more employees.
Underground sit-ins are becoming more prevalent as a means of protest at South African mines. In December, Impala Platinum Holdings and Wesizwe Platinum reported some sit-in.