ILLEGAL gold panners have intensified their operations at some of Bulawayo’s decommissioned dams.
Report by Fortune Moyo Staff Reporter
According to the latest Bulawayo City Council (BCC) minutes, the local authority rangers were being outnumbered by the gold panners.
“Gold panners have intensified their illegal activities at Upper Ncema and Umzingwane dams which have been decommissioned,” BCC said in the latest council minutes.
“The rangers are being outnumbered by the panners and there is need to increase the complement of rangers to cope with the enforcement requirement needs for the area.”
The minutes stated that items confiscated at Ncema included two gold detectors, five crowbars, four shovels and three sample dishes.
In May, it was reported that illegal gold panners had intensified their operations near Bulawayo’s supply dams, causing massive siltation.
Eight illegal gold panners were also arrested at the time.
Illegal gold panning is most rampant at Upper Ncema dam because of its well documented alluvial gold deposits.
Council has been fighting illegal gold panners for the past 15 years.
BCC said that under the Parks Section, 693 tickets were issued from January to August this year for various environmental degradation offences.
“A total number of 105 tickets were issued in the month of August for various environmental offences. A total of 62 tickets were paid while 43 are still unpaid,” council said.
“A total of $6 560 was realised and $5 699 is still outstanding for unpaid tickets. A total of 693 tickets have been issued as from January to August.”