The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), in partnership with the South African Police Services (Saps), departments and entities of the City of Joburg (CoJ) and private companies that are affected by illegal mining activities, embarked on a joint operation raiding the Jumpers Informal Settlement, in Cleveland, on the June 2, the CoJ has informed in a statement.
It points out that Johannesburg is one of the cities in South Africa that is badly affected by the spike in illegal mining.
“The effects of illegal mining can be dire, as the activity is currently causing the desecration of road reserves.
“It is further posing a health threat, in that untreated mercury infused in water used in gold processing, is not contained for safe disposal. This polluted water ends up in our waterways. Water and electricity are also connected illegally, depriving the city’s loyal citizens of essential services,” the CoJ notes.
It adds that illegal mining activities have also caused damage underneath roads, where the ground is left hollow and muddy owing to digging and excessive water use, which results in the occurrence of sinkholes and tremors.
The roads are collapsing in certain areas around Johannesburg. For example, Wemmer Pan road and Nick Toomey boulevard are currently closed to traffic owing to the effects of illegal mining, the CoJ says.
The aim of the joint operation was to remove all equipment and machinery used for illegal mining and to disconnect all illegal water and electricity connections.
Equipment confiscated included electronic mining equipment, phendukas, generators, crushing pots and manual sand crushing machines. Two people were detained.
“These joint operations are ongoing, as we are aiming at reclaiming our roads. We cannot allow these criminal activities to impede the city’s economy and affect the lives of innocent road users and citizens.
“Through partnerships with law enforcement agencies, the private sector, CoJ departments and entities, including active citizenry and community involvement, we are determined to win this battle,” says JRA CEO Selemo Monakedi.