BULAWAYO City Council has issued tickets worth US$6 000 for environmental offences since August, but only US$1 376,34 has been collected, according to latest council minutes.
Housing and community services director Dictor Khumalo expressed concern over environmental degradation in Greater Bulawayo and water catchment areas.
“Twenty-eight illegal gold panners were arrested and handed to Esigodini courts. During these patrols, 101 tools were confisticated and handed over to Esigodini police as exhibits,” the minutes read.
The council is having challenges with gold panners and sand poachers within council’s jurisdiction and around its water catchment areas in Umzingwane, Matabeleland South province.
Gold panners have in the past been blamed for the massive pollution and siltation of council water sources.
“A total of 22 tickets were issued to the offenders for various offences and 17 tickets have been paid, hence a sum of US$856,34 was realised. A total of five tickets were still outstanding with a total of US$6 335,31. A total of three trucks were recorded at two pit sand sites and a total of US$520 was realised,” the minutes read.
In July, US$2 930 was collected in fines.
“The total number of arrests (for environmental violations) since January 2023 is 103. A total of 236 tools including four detector machines were confiscated and handed over to Esigodini police as exhibits,” the council said.