In spite of warning from the South African government, illegal mining in South Africa continues unabated, claiming more lives, as the recent tragedy indicates.
On Sunday, the 10th of July 2016, bodies of illegal miners were retrieved from underground at the Bambanani Mine west shaft in Welkom, in Free State Province, according to the police spokeman Captain Stephen Thakeng.
Meanwhile, Thakeng said, as a result of the incident, security measures around the Bambanani West Shaft has been intensified.
“We are still monitoring the situation and working together with mine security and crime intelligence has also been engaged to closely monitor,” Thakeng said.
Due to few job opportunities in their country, young men from Lesotho cross the border into South Africa to try their luck in illegal mining in search of often elusive fortune. In their zeal, they are undeterred by stories of being killed by local rivals.
According to the Institute of Security Studies, proceeds from illegal mining are pocketed by middleman who are said to make a fortune.