A gold mine in Northern KwaZulu-Natal has used an unorthodox approach to tackle illegal mining.
Instead of spending millions of dollars on private security to combat zama zamas encroaching on mining area, the Bosveld Mine in Pongola is recruiting illegal miners.
While it hasn’t been easy for Bosveld to acquire the trust of the zama zamas, they are slowly beginning to turn the tide by working with them rather than against them.
Quinton Goerge and his colleagues discovered an abandoned mine overrun by zama zamas when they took over Klipwal Mine in 2018.
When George took control, the mine had been closed for more than a decade.
But a violent clash with the zama zamas in 2019 forced Goerge to rethink their approach to handling the situation.
“There’s got to be cooperation with formalised mines and to bring them into the net, into the fold and into the tent. And it’s not going to be all of them – it’s not a one-size fits all but if we don’t do it as an industry, I think we’re missing a big opportunity,” said George.