LEGALISING informal mining would be the only way to introduce and enforce more humane methods of gold production, the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg contends."Nonsense," says Boats Botes — Zama Zamas are not interested at all in being legalised.The chief of security at Chinese-owned mining company Gold One has protected mining operations for 30 years.There are two categories of Zama Zama, he says: those who hammer away in shallow tunnels and the professional ones, whom he deals with.When his company acquired four shafts from Harmony five years ago, thousands of illegal miners were working them. Botes infiltrated informants into the shafts who discovered that illegal miners were being smuggled in by the company’s own employees.The employees charged the Zama Zamas up to R4,000 to get in — more than half their monthly salary at the time.The illegal miners remained underground for months at a time and were supplied by the Harmony workers with dynamite, batteries for their headla...
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