1 minute read
17 Sep 2021
7:40 am

Zama zama bosses the real villains


Illegal mining is spreading from traditional strongholds of Gauteng and North West into other provinces

Florida police officers, community policing forum, neighbourhood watch members and a private security team up for a joint disruptive operation recently. The suspect, sitting,is arrested for being in possession of an unlicensed gun, phenduka machines and other illegal mining equipment. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

At first glance, it seems as though the zama zamas – the illegal miners who work closed, mainly gold mines – are a way that the economy seeks its natural balance and provides for people without new exploitation of resources. However, the reality is that, along with the often desperate people willing to risk their lives to feed themselves and their families, comes an ugly crime network. Wherever these operations open up, crime soon becomes a major problem. Although murders are the biggest issue, other violent and petty crime soon envelops nearby communities. Now, illegal mining is spreading from traditional...