The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety has called for a total eradication of “illegal mining that remains an enormous problem in the province.”
This follows the , in Boksburg, due to a gas accident which occurred on Wednesday night, claiming the lives of 17 residents of the squatter camp.
In a statement, the Committee noted allegations that the gas cylinder which caused this catastrophic incident was part of an illegal mining operation carried out by the so called zama-zamas in the area.
“We are saddened by these events. Over the years, Gauteng has recorded countless deaths of innocent residents as a result of illegal mining activity that occasionally springs up in different parts of the province.
“The Committee calls on law enforcement agencies to setup dedicated and special units that will see the complete eradication of illegal mining activity in the province,” Committee Chairperson, Bandile Masuku, said.
The incident comes just six months after a gas tanker exploded around the same area, killing at least 40 people.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said “police are doing what they can to combat illegal mining” but admitted that the operation needs to be further capacitated.