Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Illegal mining in gaMoroga Driekop

Thobejane Boitumelo Tabane

The area of Fetakgomo-Tubatse has seen a growth in illegal mining, which started in the year 2020 and it has created environmental destruction and community safety is compromised in gaMaraga village near Burgersfort as Chrome and other minerals are illegally mined within the village without safety measures in place and without rehabilitation and mine closure plans.

The sad part is the community is not contacted or there is no communication to move the residents to safer areas as the miners use irresponsible mining practices as they want to make money and neglect the irreparable harm to the ecosystem, there are operations inside peoples yards placing them at risk as houses can collapse. The effects of illegal mining are mostly negative as they include the threat to safety of these miners due to rock fall, collapse of the ground and loss of life due to the gang fighting between the illegal miners and human trafficking.

The illegal miners hire heavy machinery to dig and leave the area with dangerous pits, during the rainy seasons the pits fill with water making it difficult to see the depth of the pits and children would try to swim in the water, people with poor eye sight are also in danger. We have to practice safe ways to protect the community and involve everyone.

In conclusion the solution is:-

People should be moved to a safer environment and be built houses.

Identify and protect areas susceptible to illegal mining.

Tighten regulatory control on illegal mining closure.

Establish a task force to prevent mining without permit.

Monitor and regulate small scale miners.

Arrest those who are responsible for illegal mining.

If further steps are not taken to stop illegal mining, the village houses will collapse and turn the area into a ghost village.