Panyaza Lesufi Explains Why Deploying SANDF to Stem Illegal Mining Won’t Be Easy Amid Intensified Calls

Panyaza Lesufi Explains Why Deploying SANDF to Stem Illegal Mining Won’t Be Easy Amid Intensified Calls

  • Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has detailed why deploying the army to tackle the scourge of illegal mining would be difficult
  • Greenlighting an SANDF deployment is a highly regulated process which involves the president, opposition parties, budgets and committees
  • The call for the army to take on illegal miners comes after a gas leak in Boksburg linked to zama zama activity killed 17 people

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JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi attempted to explain why deploying the South African National Defence Force to tackle illegal mining in the province would be challenging.

Panyaza Lesufi says deploying the army to deal with illegal mining is a difficult and lengthy process
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi revealed that deploying the SANDF to tackle illegal mining is a highly regulated process. Image: Papi Morake & Jaco Marais
Source: Getty Images

Panyaza Lesufi details what is required to deploy SANDF

According to Lesufi, while the province has called for the army to deal with the illegal mining problem, the process is highly regulated, TimesLIVE reported.

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Lesudi said President Cyril Ramaphosa would have to gazette the deployment and consult opposition parties in the legislature.

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Additionally, the soldiers deployed must be within an appropriate budget, and a committee must meet to discuss the possibility.

Boksburg gas leak sparks intensified calls for deployment of SANDF

The Gauteng premiere's comments come after 17 people were killed after inhaling a poisonous gas leaked from a cylinder at Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg, SABC News reported.

The gas cylinder was allegedly stolen from a warehouse by illegal miners, who reportedly cut it open, leading to the tragedy.

The community has since called for the government to deploy the army to deal with the problem of illegal miners.

Panyaza Lesufi offer alternatives to deploying SANDF to tackle illegal mining

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While Lesufi understands the community's demands, the premiere believes other avenues can be explored.

Speaking at a visit to the Angelo informal settlement, Lesufi said:

"We need to strengthen the firepower of our police force, and the police must be given the necessary powers to protect society without any constraints."

Lesufi added that illegal miners are usually heavily armed and ruthless, so confronting them requires firepower, personnel, technology and innovation.

South Africans divided by Panyaza Lesufi's explanation of SANDF deployment

Below are some comments:

@MakwetuMfundo said:

"Deploy the TRT or a SAPS tactical team to that specific area."

@seamasha66 questioned:

"How long was the process for them to do house-to-house searches looking for looted goods in KZN and burn the foodstuffs afterwards?"

@Generalgumede suggested:

"No need for the army, just proper working law enforcement agencies. Police and the courts must function for the good of society."

@Tabudim criticised:

"Always reacting to situations that could have been prevented or avoided. A typical Lesufist this one."

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@StevenJ81279168 commented:

"He must bring Amapanyaza."

Boksburg gas leak: Families left distraught after death toll reaches 17 and 11 others fight for their lives

In a related story, Briefly News reported that the death toll from the gas leak at the Angelo Informal Settlement in Boksburg, Johannesburg, has risen.

Gauteng Premier Panyanza Lesufi confirmed on Thursday morning that 17 people have now died due to the horrific gas leak.

SABC News reported that the latest victim died at Tambo Memorial Hospital in the early hours of the morning.

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Source: Briefly News

Lerato Mutsila avatar

Lerato Mutsila (Current affairs editor) Lerato Mutsila is a journalist with 3 years of experience. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pearson Institute of Higher Education in 2020, majoring in broadcast journalism, political science and communication. Lerato joined the Briefly News current affairs desk in August 2022. Mutsila is also a fellow of the 2021/2022 Young African Journalists Acceleration programme, which trained African journalists in climate journalism. You can contact Lerato at