South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorized the deployment of 3,300 army personnel at a cost of $26 million to tackle illegal mining and maintain law and order. The deployment is part of “Operation Prosper” and will involve the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) working in conjunction with the police. The anti-criminality operation is set to take place from October 28, 2023, to April 28, 2024. This move follows a 2019 deployment under the same operation to combat gang violence in the Western Cape province.
Illegal mining, which takes place in both disused and active mines, has been identified as a significant issue by the Minerals Council of South Africa. It damages the country’s investment appeal and costs mines and the economy billions annually