19 March 2021 - NW182
Sarupen, Mr AN to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
With reference to the informal settlement on Main Reef Road, in Brakpan, Gauteng, known as Plastic City what: a) steps are being taken by his department to seal off the old and inactive mines in the area, considering that it has become a hotbed of illegal mining and associated criminal activities, b) steps are being taken (i) to protect critical infrastructure from illegal mining in this area and (ii) jointly by his department and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality to ensure that mineral rights and environmental legislation obligations are being met; and c) steps will his department be taking in future to stop illegal mining in the area? NW185E
a) The department has sealed three shafts in and around Plastic City informal settlement in 2019.
b) Through the Department’s continuous monitoring and evaluation initiatives, it has been made aware that illegal miners have mined under some roads, causing it to collapse. To this end, the Department with the assistance of MINTEK is investigating this issue further. Furthermore, the SAPS together with Ekurhuleni Municipality will be consulted to have a lasting solution in this regard.
c) The Department will continue enforcing the laws that prohibit mining without the necessary authorisations (mining right and environmental authorisation) together with other law enforcement agencies. The Department is also participating in joint law enforcement forums aimed at strengthening investigations and prosecutions of these types of organised crimes that deprives the country of its mineral resources-based revenues, causing massive environmental damage with impacts on society.