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Decriminalise artisanal mining, says Action Aid SA

The organisation has released a report aimed at addressing the growing zama zama sector.

FILE: A Zama Zama (illegal miner) pulls an injured miner, whose hand is seen at left, out the entrance disused Langlaagte gold mine shaft entrance on 11 September 2016 in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Action Aid South Africa on Thursday said decriminalising artisanal mining would be a step in the right direction when it came to dealing with the country’s worsening unemployment and environmental crisis.

The organisation has released a report aimed at addressing the growing zama zama sector.

It said the country’s economy could benefit from the estimated R7 billion trade, which currently remains untaxed.

The organisation’s Sifiso Dladla said: “With this report, we’re saying that we’re adding onto transformation. Minerals belong to all of us in South Africa as long as the process is done within the law. That’s the transformation that we want to see.”