Police need to hit hard on illegal mining syndicates and kingpins, shut down the available markets and protect communities, Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe said.
She made these remarks following operations to dismantle illegal mining operations in the province on Tuesday, where police arrested 32 suspects.
A police task team in Sekhukhune, together with the South African National Defence Force joint task force, embarked on an operation in Atok, where 19 suspected illegal miners were arrested.
Authorities also seized mining equipment including wheelbarrows, generators, jackhammers, pickaxes, spades and shovels. They also confiscated a TLB machine and a tipper truck.
“Among the suspects, four were arrested for possession of suspected stolen precious minerals (chrome)” police spokesperson Brig Hlulani Mashaba said.
The multi-disciplinary team also arrested 13 suspected illegal miners in Ga-Phasha.
“We have intensified our operations, and I am confident that the net is closing on these criminals,” Hadebe said.
Hadebe also said the disruptive operations conducted across the province from August 15 until December 31 led to the arrest of 220 illegal mining suspects and the seizure of illegal mining equipment worth millions.