New interventions and sustainable solutions: Reappraising illegal artisanal mining in South Africa


  • Mbekezeli Comfort Mkhize Researcher: Centre for Military Studies, Stellenbosch University



Illegal mining, integrated model, zama zamas, collaborative efforts and combination of capacities


Despite being recognised as a significant contributor in the South African economy, the mining industry is riddled with illegal mining activities. Though it remains difficult to precisely measure the extent of the activities in financial terms, it is estimated that more than R72 Billion have been lost. Lack of research on illegal mining partly compounds the problem. In view of this knowledge-gap, this article argues that whilst there is a multiplicity of stakeholders who deal directly with unlawful activities, poor integration of capacities at different levels remain discernible. The article assesses available literature and employs two theoretical perspectives as lenses through which to view the underlying reasons and the measures that can be put in place to quell illegal mining. The article concludes that an integrated model needs to be put in place in order to quell illegal mining in South Africa. The article recommends that the resources need to be pulled together and collaborative efforts need to be enhanced at all levels.


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Author Biography

Mbekezeli Comfort Mkhize, Researcher: Centre for Military Studies, Stellenbosch University

Mbekezeli Comfort Mkhize is a Researcher at the Centre for Military Studies (CEMIS), Faculty of Military Science, University of Stellenbosch. He is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Public & Development Management (PDM) at Stellenbosch University. He holds Masters Degrees in Political Science and Community Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  He has worked at Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) both as a Research Assistant and Field Supervisor. He has co-authored a book chapter on Response-ability in the era of AIDS: Building social capital in community care and support. He contributed a book chapter in African Frontiers: Insurgency, Governance and Peacebuilding in Postcolonial States. He has published articles in African Security Review. His research interests include service delivery protests and police brutality in South Africa, Armed and Religious Conflicts in Africa, and African politics in general.






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