Statement by ACDP MP, Marie Sukers

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP approaches Home Affairs to rid Bontekoe of illegal foreign miners

Sep 22, 2023

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) notes with serious concern the developments in the Namakhoi Municipality where a joint operation, earlier this week, between the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Service saw hundreds of illegal foreign miners removed from the Kleinsee area.

The ACDP constituency office in the Northern Cape was reliably informed, this morning, that these illegal foreign miners, who were removed in Kleinsee, are now on their way to Bontekoe.

The area of Bontekoe, which is a nature reserve that was handed to the Nama People through a land restitution process, is overrun by illegal foreign miners from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Earlier today the ACDP, in a question session, asked Deputy President Paul Mashatile why government is dragging its heels to complete the land claim that was made against the land owned by De Beers and Alexkor in Kleinsee – 300 000 hectares of land.

ACDP MP Marie Sukers asked Mashatile to “make a commitment in this House (National Assembly), as part of the land acceleration programme, to revisit and accelerate the land claim of the indigenous people of Kommagas and Buffelsrivier, to have this land registered in a name of their choice – and not in that of a municipality – and for their right to mine minerals on the land of their ancestors as the rightful owners and beneficiaries of its wealth to be restored”.

Sukers also wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to request for an urgent and permanent solution to be found to rid Bontekoe of illegal foreign miners.

There is serious discontent from the residents of Bontekoe, the Nama People – who are the rightful owners of the land – who have no mining rights and are overtaken by the amount of illegal foreign miners occupying and mining on their land.

“The leaders of Bontekoe, and farmers in the area, have asked the ACDP to request for government intervention, on their behalf, for this situation to not further escalate into an explosive security crisis – after having learned of the hundreds of illegal foreign miners, who were dumped outside of Springbok, that are now on their way to Bontekoe”, Sukers said.

-ENDS-

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