Illegal mining - foreigners major culprits
Johannesburg - Out of the 519 people arrested for illicit mining in November last year 419 were foreign nationals, Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel and deputy Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu heard on Friday.
"Of grave concern was the role of foreign nationals in these illicit activities," the department of justice said in a statement.
The figures were revealed during an interdepartmental briefing on illicit mining activities in the area.
At the meeting, Nel and Sotyu were joined by representatives of the national prosecuting authority, SA Police Service and Legal Aid SA.
"The deputy ministers noted the interventions made to combat illicit mining activities. They made it clear that this was a priority for the justice, crime prevention and security cluster."
The meeting also heard that following an intensified underground operation by the police and mining security, illicit underground mining activities in the Goldfield's area had been reduced.
However, it was noted that illicit mining activities had started to manifest themselves on the surface, even though the underground illicit mining still continued to present problems.