Gold rush or fool’s gold?

2018-06-08 06:01
Residents search for what they assume is gold, in KwaMbuthuma village.PHOTO: siphelele nketo

Residents search for what they assume is gold, in KwaMbuthuma village.PHOTO: siphelele nketo

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“WE have found gold and we will no longer go to Johannesburg to find work.” These are the words of residents of KwaMbuthuma village.

Residents are convinced that they have found gold in the area after they started digging in a quarry on Tuesday which was left open by a contractor recently, who conducted maintenance on the roads in the village.

Umuziwabantu Local Municipality has engaged the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Minerals about to seek for their advice and intervention as well.

“We will have an official meeting tomorrow [today] with the Department of Minerals where we will discuss the issue at hand and we are hopeful that we will come with a proper resolution on what to do further to address this issue,” said municipal mayor Dixie Nciki.
“I saw many people digging after I visited the place and I told them to get away because it is unsafe.

“People did not obey and I asked the police to keep a close eye on them to avoid fighting and to control congestion,” said Nciki.

She added that some people were being treated in Harding Hospital for minor injuries after rocks fell on them.

’When Fever visited the area, people were using forks, spades and hoes to dig into the rock.

Some residents carried large plastic bags and containers with the hope of collecting and selling the stones the had dug up.

Ward 8 Councillor Nkosiphendule Ngubelanga said he cannot confirm that the stones are gold, but he saw people digging with the aim of selling it.
“We have informed the SAPS to monitor the area so that people won’t fight against each other. I have seen many cars all the way from Durban and Johannesburg at the place,” said Ngubelanga.

The place was cornered off with barbed wire but one side was open for people to get in. Some residents have been sleeping in the area to find more stones. Zolile Ncobela from KwaMachi area said she travelled almost 30 km on foot after she heard about the “find”.
She said she hopes to sell it to feed her children.

Thandekile Ncobela said she will no longer go to Johannesburg to find employment.
“I am unemployed and I am digging up the stone so I can sell it to get rich,” said Victoria Machi.
Several police vans and taxis were seen parked 500 metres away from the area.

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