South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved the deployment of 3,300 army personnel to combat illegal mining, at a cost of $26 million.
The deployment, which is part of “Operation Prosper,” is intended to maintain peace and order. From October 28, 2023 until April 28, 2024, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will execute an anti-criminality operation in collaboration with the police.
The deployment follows a similar deployment in 2019 to address gang violence in the Western Cape province.
The Minerals Council of South Africa emphasizes that unlawful mining, which occurs in both closed and operational mines, harms the country’s investment appeal, losing mines and the economy billions of dollars each year.