Kagiso residents, illegal miners clash as community acts against crime

They say that it's time for the government to take effective measures to deal with their grievances.

Residents from Kagiso township build a barricade by setting tires on fire during a protest against illegal mining and rising crime in the area in Kagiso on 4 August 2022. Picture: GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Violent clashes have erupted between protesting Kagiso residents and illegal miners on the West Rand.

This as residents in the community take matters into their own hands against high crime levels and illegal mining activities.

They say that it's time for the government to take effective measures to deal with their grievances.

Several roads in the township have been blocked with rocks and burning tyres.

The demonstration follows the gang-rape of at least eight women in a mine dump in the area last week, allegedly by zama zamas.

Meanwhile, the governing party on the West Rand, the Democratic Alliance (DA), says it is working with local law enforcement to root out illegal miners in the area.

Mogale City MMC for Health and Social Development Gail Mphafudi said that illegal mining was wreaking havoc in the area.

"It is affecting our infrastructure so people living in that area are also affected so you don't even feel safe even when you're at home because there might be a tremor that might lead to your house breaking down, so it's a health risk on its own. And also is poses a risk to people's lives because they're getting shot and there's so much violence around zama zamas," Mphafudi said.

She said that the local mayor, Tyrone Gray, was working to address the issue.

"Our mayor is working together with the SAPS just so that we work together with the law enforcement just to get the zama zamas out. There are shafts that are closed so that we make sure that they don't go in there and do illegal mining of the diamonds and so forth," Mphafudi said.