Big blow to illegal mining in Pelzvale

A worker emerging from one of the tunnels on the farm.

Illegal mining activity on a farm in the Pelzvale area was dealt quite a blow when at least 10 underground tunnels were closed and the entrances sealed.

Early on Tuesday morning, 9 January, a concerned business owner, some of his workers and at least two bulldozers were seen closing and sealing the entrances to illegal shaft and tunnels.

Another entrance to one of the underground tunnels is being closed and sealed by using a bulldozer.

The business owner, who wishes not to be named for fear of himself and/ or his business being targeted, explained he first noticed the entrances and the extent of illegal mining activity on the farm the previous Thursday (4 January) when workers were about to plough the field and plant crops.

“After looking into one of the holes, I heard music coming from deep inside. I called out and suddenly 12 people emerged.”

The business owner then brought it to the attention of the land owner. The illegal miners/ zama-zamas were given three day’s notice of their plans to close all the entrances on 9 January by putting up pamphlets on trees and dropping them into the holes.

Also Read: Illegal mining – a death trap

The notice was in English, Sotho, Tswana and Zulu.

It reads: “Owners of Farm 225 Middelvlei Pelzvale Randfontein wishes to advise that we will be closing and sealing off all open holes and tunnels in the ground on the farm on Tuesday, 9 January 2018. What do you need to to help us do? Spread the message that those inside the underground holes must come out as we are going to close all holes and tunnels on Tuesday, 9 January 2018.”

The entrance to one of the underground tunnels is being closed and sealed by using a bulldozer.

The business owner also said, “It is not only illegal but very unsafe for cattle and sheep grazing, and for children playing on the farm. Should they fall into a hole of approximately 20 metres deep, they can be seriously injured. Closing the holes can only make our community safer.”

Johan Willemse, Randfontein CPF Sector 5.2 chairperson added, “Illegal mining is a big problem in the area and we thank the business owner and workers for the good deed they are doing here today.”

Although it is said that illegal mining is more about survival than criminality, Willemse and the business owner believe some of them could be responsible for or involved in crimes such as housebreaking and robberies in the area.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected]  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites

Roodepoort Record

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Clinton Botha

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