Makhura: Illegal mining an issue of national security
Gauteng Premier David Makhura was among the several government officials who appealed for calm and promised action after a tense meeting at the second leg of the anti-crime imbizo in Kagiso.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura said that illegal miners scavenging Johannesburg's exhausted mines had moved beyond mining operations to criminal syndicates, which were terrorising residents and destroying infrastructure.
Makhura was among the several government officials who appealed for calm and promised action after a tense meeting at the second leg of the anti-crime imbizo in Kagiso.
Scores of residents took the law into their own hands when they searched mine dumps in the township during a manhunt for zama zamas last week.
Makhura described the scourge of illicit mining as an issue of national security.
He said that the province was dealing with well-trained and organised criminals.
"When you say they are heavily-armed, they are an armed force, they are not joking. We need to organise all the security capacity of our democratic state to respond in a way we've not done before," Makhura said.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Director-General Tommy Makhode said that the department was working closely with neighboring countries in arranging the deportation of undocumented foreign nationals.
"We can report here that we now are able to deport all of them. On Thursday, we met with the permanent secretary from Lesotho and we have now agreed on a system in terms of how we can push a lot of these deportations to Lesotho and other areas. We've already started," Makhode said.