200 women have managed to register a small-scale mining cooperative, taking the leap from 'zama zamas' to legal artisan miners. The group is looking forward to making a name for themselves in the male-dominated industry.
Former illegal miners from Kimberley spent six years mining diamonds in the Northern Cape, but now everything has changed for them.
200 women have joined forces, registering a small-scale mining cooperative with the help of Michelle Goliath, who gave them a hand registering the Women in Artisanal Scale Mining group.
One of the miners, Elisa Louw, has heralded the change, saying that their lives have been changed for the better:
"I'm happy that we can work freely without worrying that the police would confiscate our goods. Though we sell diamonds, we encourage women to be more independent by empowering them to do other things such as creating a ring from the diamond."
Louw says that the transition from zama zamas to legal miners was not an easy one, revealing that they had attempted to obtain a permit after establishing the Batho Pele Primary Mining Cooperative in 2016, reports The Sowetan.
Goliath had later helped achieve this goal earlier this year, after months of struggling to get on the right path.
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