Expert addresses possible solutions to end illegal mining

David van Wyk, lead researcher at Benchmark Foundation, says illegal mines should be properly closed.

That means restoring it to the original situation as far as the environment is concerned and sealing the shafts, making it impossible for people to get there.

David van Wyk lead researcher at Benchmark Foundation

This is with regards to the 11 illegal miners (also known as Zama-Zamas) who died at the Benoni Gold Mine.

Some of the men are believed to have died last month, while the others suffocated last week.

Officials left the mine where they said conditions are not safe to remove the bodies of the miners.

Van Wyk said the problem is that the mines get abandoned and with that comes retrenchments.

We have 30,000 Zama-Zamas in Johannesburg alone. Most of the time retrenchment packages aren't enough to get them back home so they remain behind.

David van Wyk lead researcher at Benchmark Foundation

Asked about what a possible solution could be the researcher said gangs and syndicates have to be eliminated.

"Those are the people who sponsor the Zama-Zamas and take most of the money they make."

Van Wyk also suggested that small scale mining be legalised.

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