Large numbers of rural residents have come to Kwahlanati near Ladysmith to ‘mine’ diamonds, raising government concerns about health and safety in the area.
Several people have videos and pictures posted on social media of what they think are big diamonds they found in Kwahlanati.
Illegal miners have posted photos of their “diamond” discoveries on Facebook.
< p> Watch one of the mining videos here:
This prompted KZN Prime Minister Zweli Mkhize to call to order amid the reports of the diamond rush.
Zikalala’s spokesman Lennox Mabaso said the provincial government had noted with concern the reports of illegal mining activities in KwaHlathi, outside Ladysmith, where crowds of people had gathered to mine what they believe are diamonds.
“This activity fol gt to be discovered by some of those who consider them precious stones. Images and videos are circulating on social media of some people involved in illegal mining celebrating and believing they have gotten rich, “Mabaso said in a statement posted on Sunday.
He said the matter had become Referred to the National Department of Minerals and Energy, which had promised to send teams from enforcement and compliance units to conduct a site inspection.
He added that a team from Mintek (the Council for Mineral Technology) and GCS (the Geosciences Council), which will include a geologist, will be dispatched to inspect the rocks discovered by residents.
“We are deeply concerned about the pictures that are showing that some people from some of the neighboring provinces and cities are flocking to KwaHlathi, “said Zikalala.
” We are concerned that if the situation is not brought under control, it will lead to chaos and possible onslaught lead k could. We call for order and calm and call on all parties involved to cease operations and vacate the site so that the DMRE can conduct a proper inspection of the site and the finds found there, ”said Zikalala.
Zikalala added that the illegal mining activities could violate COvid-19 regulations.
“It is also very worrying that we have gathered so many people in one spot after a looming third wave, not a social one Keep your distance and do not wear any masks. This could prove to be a super spreader and put many people at risk, including those who are not involved in mining. ”
The provincial government will work closely with the SAPS, the DMRE and the traditional communities, the traditional leadership and the local and county parishes to bring calm to the area and ensure that the relevant information gets through to parishioners.