“We have made progress 135 people have been arrested and some have been prosecuted.” She was in Matholesville, near Roodepoort, to report back to residents about progress made in curtailing illegal mining.
A bakkie was impounded when it was found transporting sand believed to be related to illegal mining. “We have challenges. When you stop illegal mining in one area, illegal miners move to another area.”
Shabangu said the police were using horses and helicopters to monitor areas where access was difficult.
“They have moved to areas which are not easily accessible…. That they have moved means we are on the right track.”
She said the police had destroyed tables along the Main Reef road where illegal mining business was conducted.
Illegal miners were also diverting water meant for residents to their mining activities.
“You now have water because illegal mining have been reduced.” Shabangu said the country was losing R4 million to illegal mining.
Women involved in illegal mining would be arrested, even those carrying babies on their backs. “We will arrest you and hand your child to welfare,” she warned.