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South Africa: Army to Fight Illegal Mining. Price Tag? Nearly Half a Billion Rand – South African News Briefs – November 10, 2023

 

Govt Deploys Army to Combat Illegal Mining

President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved the deployment of 3,300 army personnel, under “Operation Prosper”, to combat illegal mining activities, at an estimated cost of R492 million (about U.S$26 million), reports Reuters. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will work in collaboration with the South African Police Service to conduct an intensive anti-criminality operation against illegal mining across all provinces from October 28, 2023, to April 28, 2024. This move aims to address the issue of illegal mining, which has the Minerals Council South Africa says has damaged South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination, costing operating mines up to R7 billion annually and causing substantial economic losses in export earnings, taxes, and royalties.

KwaZulu-Natal Residents Fume Over Unsafe Drinking Water

KwaZulu-Natal residents are considering legal action against the Harry Gwala district municipality for failing to address long-standing water issues and not issuing adequate warnings about unsafe tap water in Underberg and Himeville, reports TimesLIVE.  Residents discovered the compromised water quality on November 1, prompting tests by citizen science activists from WaterCan, revealing high levels of coliform bacteria. The municipality, responsible for water quality, only acknowledged the issue on October 26, citing a shortage of gas chlorine due to load-shedding challenges. Critics claim the municipality downplayed the severity, and residents are outraged by the lack of transparency and accountability, considering legal recourse.

South African Artist The Kiffness Meets Whoopi Goldberg on U.S. Tour

South African artist David Scott, also known as The Kiffness, encountered a mix of misfortune and joy during his North American tour, reports TimesLIVE. While on tour in the U.S., he suffered a setback when his van was broken into, resulting in the theft of approximately R100,000 worth of equipment, and leading to the cancellation of a show in Detroit. However, the tour had a bright spot when Scott discovered that Whoopi Goldberg was in the audience in New York. The iconic actress, with ties to South Africa, expressed her admiration for Scott’s music. The tour continues with upcoming performances in Chicago, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.

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