DMR working to legalise diamond zama-zamas | Fin24
  • Illicit Tobacco Trade

    The SA Revenue Service says it is going to court to recover R200m in taxes in a decade-old case

  • SAA Strike

    The airline says it will take legal action over 'malicious' claims of unsafe flights by unions.

  • New CEO

    After months of speculation and delays, Andre de Ruyter has been named Eskom's new head.


DMR working to legalise diamond zama-zamas

Feb 08 2018 21:06
Lameez Omarjee

Cape Town – The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is working to legalise illegal miners, according to Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Godfrey Oliphant.

He was delivering the closing address at the 2018 African Mining Indaba on Thursday.

“The only way to combat illegal mining is to legalise it,” he said.

He spoke of how the department was engaging with illegal diamond miners at Ekapa Mining Company, based in Kimberley, to get the zama-zamas licensed. In a statement issued by the DMR on January 25 2018, it explains that there has been increasing illegal mining activities in Kimberley for the past eight years.

“Ekapa Mining, which operates De Beers' historic mining areas, is mostly affected by these illegal activities, resulting in the company seeking legal action to evict illegal miners from Ekapa’s mining right areas,” the statement read.

In his address Oliphant explained the DMR engaged with Ekapa not to evict the miners and the miners have been granted 400ha of land, provided that the department give the miners licences. Oliphant said that a lot of progress has been made in this regard.

Oliphant explained that illegal miners are exploited. He recalled an incident where zama-zamas found a 55 Carat diamond, which they sold for R6m. The person who bought the diamond then sold it for R33m.

“If they [illegal miners] had been licensed properly, they would have taken the stone to a tender house and they would have got their money,” he explained.

This is why the department wants to help get the miners licensed, he said.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER



Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

What do you think about private healthcare in SA?

Previous results · Suggest a vote