Thousands of people have made their way to the Douglas area in KwaHlathi, Ladysmith, as diamond fever grips the small poor community.
A large group of people could be seen digging through rocks and mud in search of the glass stones that they believe to be diamonds.
Apparently, since last week some people have been spending nights and days at a site where “diamonds” were discovered, mining the opaque stones that look like quartz or topaz crystals.
By Sunday afternoon videos and pictures of large crowds burrowing a piece of land with picks and shovels circulated on social media.
Many were seen not wearing masks and not adhering to any social distancing rules as they searched for what they believe to be precious stones. No government officials or councillors were at the site on Monday morning at 10 am.
The people told Ladysmith Herald on Monday morning that they were trying to dig as much as they can before the government arrives and takes over the site.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial government spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, on Sunday said they had noted with concern the reports of illegal mining activity taking place at KwaHlathi.
He said as soon as it was notified of this, the provincial government tasked the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs to refer the matter to the national Department of Minerals and Energy as the relevant department which deals with such.
Mabaso said the Department of Minerals and Energy has promised to dispatch teams to the site to conduct inspections.