R492m to deploy 3,300 soldiers to help police fight illegal mining
President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed 3,300 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members for six months to assist police in combating illegal mining across the country at a cost of almost R500m.
Ramaphosa wrote to National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and chair of the National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo on Friday informing them about the deployment.
“This serves to inform the National Assembly [NCOP in a separate letter] that I have authorised the employment of 3,300 members of the SANDF for service in co-operation with the police to prevent and combat crime and maintain and preserve law and order in the Republic of South Africa under Operation Prosper,” said Ramaphosa.
“Members of the SANDF employed will, in co-operation with the South African Police Service, be conducting a high intensified anti-criminality operation against illegal mining across all provinces from period October 28 2023 until April 28 2024.”
The president said the expenditure expected to be incurred for this deployment amounts to just more than R492m.
The deployment is authorised in accordance with the provisions of the constitution read with a section the Defence Act.
The section provides for the president or defence minister to authorise the deployment of the defence force for service inside the Republic or in international waters to support any department of state, including support for purposes of socioeconomic upliftment.
Last month Ramaphosa extended the deployment of 880 soldiers who are assisting police to prevent and combat crime.
He said that deployment was expected to cost just more than R110m.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.