ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that the National Executive Committee (NEC) will discuss the issue of illegal mining in South Africa.
A gas leak at Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg on Wednesday led to the death of 17 people.
Mbalula said the NEC meeting in Gauteng, which starts on Friday and ends on Monday, will discuss a range of issues, including illegal mining as it was a serious issue.
The National Assembly’s portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy also raised concern about illegal mining, saying it was a threat to national security.
The committee also called on the State to crackdown on various crimes related to illegal mining operations.
Mbalula said they want government to take action on illegal mining.
He said they also want the Department of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Police and the Security Cluster to take a lead in fighting the scourge of illegal mining.
The NEC will have a big discussion on illegal mining, said Mbalula.
“The issue of illicit mining and zama-zamas is part of a big discussion in this meeting. We are going to come up with a resolution. You will be briefed about what we are going to do in terms of government and what we want to give to government.
“That is what is important as a mandate to deal with this particular matter. But we want Home Affairs, the Ministry of Police and the Security Cluster to deal with this particular matter. The issue of illicit mining and zama-zamas, part of our discussion is not only a security matter, it’s about, is there a way we can handle the issue of zama-zamas in the context of our economy.
“This NEC meeting is going to discuss that and make our contribution in terms of what government must do to deal with the matter,” said Mbalula.
Chairperson of the portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy Zet Luzipho said the State must crack down on illegal mining.
He said illegal mining must be viewed as a threat to national security because of violent acts associated with it.