a) The National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (NEMA) provides for regulation of activities which cannot be undertaken without an Environmental Authorisation, such listed activities includes mining and prospecting activities. If any person conducts a listed activity without an approved Environmental Authorisation they are committing an offense in terms of section 49A of NEMA and can be prosecuted following an investigation.
b) The Department is working with law enforcement authorities to deal with the scourge of illegal mining. There are several multi-disciplinary and intelligence led operations which include the Depart of Home Affairs (Immigration) that have been successfully undertaken in various provinces in this financial year.
c) It should also be noted, especially with recent experiences in illegal mining, that the scourge has become an organised crime often led by sophisticated crime syndicates. Further operations are being planned together with law enforcement authorities to respond to challenges caused by illegal mining activities in the country.
d) The South African Police Service has also set up the Economic Infrastructure Task Team (EITT) which role is to address the scourge of crimes within the non-ferrous metals, essential infrastructure, critical infrastructure, extortion, and illegal mining. The Department of Minerals and Energy is working together with the envisaged unit with the immigration teams.