South Africa among world’s largest producers of gold and other precious minerals
South Africa has authorized the deployment of thousands of soldiers to work in collaboration with the police in fighting crime and illegal mining, the presidency said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office in a statement late Thursday said he authorized the deployment of 3,300 members of the South African National Defense Force, in cooperation with the South African Police Service, to prevent and combat crime and maintain and preserve law and order under Operation Prosper.
The operation, which commenced on Oct. 28, will run until April 28, 2024.
South Africa has one of the highest crime incidents on the continent, and offenses generally increase during the end of year festive period.
One of the world’s largest producers of gold and other precious minerals, the country faces a huge challenge with illegal miners. Organized criminal syndicates risk their lives daily to enter into closed mine shafts scattered across the state.
Abandoned mines have attracted a large number of illegal miners from both within and the wider Southern African region.