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15th June 2024

David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation chief researcher says the government needs to move away from the position that every problem in South Africa needs policing, this actually needs regulation and legislation.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) warned that there could be more victims in the North West after the grim discovery in Orkney of 20 dead men believed to have been illegal miners.

Police confirmed that they found the bodies on Monday and Tuesday at two separate locations near an old mine.

David van Wyk, Benchmarks Foundation chief researcher, gives his views on whether the sector be formalised

The more we delay, the more out of control it’s going to get and we might end up like Katanga province in the DRC. We absolutely have to move towards formalisation and we have to move so very quickly so that we can avoid violence and accidents, it’s so important.

David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation chief researcher

We suggest that they be organised into co-operatives and that the co-operatives get registered with the industry and Department of Mineral Resources. We suggested that there be a central buying agency of the gold from the syndicates that are now the main beneficiaries while the hardworking people die in poverty.

David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation chief researcher

We speak to the zama zamas on a daily basis and they are desperate, they want to be regulated and legislated for. Very often there is corruption with the involvement of security forces. People are taking bribes from the zama zamas or the syndicates and so on.

David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation chief researcher

They take equipment from one group of zama zamas and give it to another group. There is chaos that is happening there. The government needs to move away from the position that every problem in South Africa needs policing. It actually needs regulation and legislation.

David van Wyk, Bench Marks Foundation chief researcher

Listen below for a full interview …