- People continuing to mine for 'diamonds' in KwaHlati have been warned to stop digging or be met with police force
- Premier Sihle Zikala said in a provincial executive meeting that starting on Thursday police would remove those who continue to mine
- Despite MEC Ravi Pillay explicitly stating that stones found in KwaHlati were quartz crystals and not diamonds, people have continued to dig
The KwaZulu-Natal government has given people digging for stones in KwaHlati until Wednesday to leave the site. Many people had flocked to KwaHlati under the belief diamonds had been found.
The KZN government confirmed that stones found in KwaHlati were not diamonds but were however less valuable quartz crystals.
According to TimesLIVE, the provincial executive council had warned that starting on Thursday, those who don’t leave the site will be met with police force.
“The provincial executive council has further expressed its concerns about reports that illegal mining is still continuing in the area. The provincial government is urging people to move away from the site and abide by the law with immediate effect,” said the council.
The decision was made during a council meeting on Wednesday, which was chaired by Premier Sihle Zikalala.
The council also stated that the site needs to be closed to the general public because they planned to return to the area to address service delivery issues that had been identified in the past week. In addition, the government intended to look into any potential economic activities in the area.
The council stated that there is a concern of Covid-19 infections due to large crowds mining in the area and Covid regulations not being followed.
IOL reported earlier this month that a large crowd of people had flocked to KwaHlati in search of ‘diamonds’. Word about the stones came from a cattle herder who was digging in the area. He then told his community about his findings.
Desperate miners of KwaHlathi refuse to stop digging for "diamonds"
Briefly News recently reported that despite confirmation from KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) MEC Ravi Pillay that the "diamonds" found in KwaHlathi near Ladysmith were actually quartz crystals residents refuse to stop digging.
On Monday around 200 people gathered at the "mining" site to continue their search for precious stones.
The miners posed a huge risk for Covid-19 transmission and the mining operations were a threat to the environment, according to TimesLIVE.
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Source: Briefly News