INR Sand Mining

Sand-mining can be a lucrative business for local communities, but they are often unaware of the government structures (such as the Directorate of Small Scale Mining within the Department of Mineral Resource and Energy) and regulations governing sand-mining. As a result, local communities are excluded and have to bear the brunt of the negative impacts associated with illegal sand-mining.


The INR project educates communities on sand-mining with the aim of curbing the spread of illegal sand-mining and enabling communities to take ownership of their local resources by informing them of the government support available.


What has been achieved

  • Information on the sand-mining permit application process, how to access government support and how to report illegal sand-mining, in the form of physical and electronic posters, for each distribution.
  • Presentation to private landowners, farmers, members of traditional councils and communities on the impacts of illegal sand mining, the laws regulating sand mining and the sand mining permit application
  • Engagements with traditional authorities on the impacts of illegal sand mining, the laws regulating sand mining and the sand mining permit application
  • Traditional leaders in three communities know how to verify if sand-miners who are not from the community have legal permits to mine, and have the contact details of the various compliance monitoring and enforcement departments
  • Three communities understand the framework regulating sand mining, and the social, economic and ecological impacts of illegal sand mining, as well as the government support available to small scale sand miners through the Directorate of Small Scale Mining


Alignment with IUDF

Inclusion and Access: empowering local communities to participate in the sand-mining business.

Growth: creating local jobs in sand-mining.

Governance: capacitated communities are able to work with government.



Academia: scientists, one from the Institute of Natural Resources and one from the Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust Civil society: traditional authorities – the Inkosis and tribal councils of the KwaXimba, Nkanyezini and Gcumisa communities; EnviroChamps – an environmental youth group based in the Umngeni Catchment; farmers and private land owners from the Upper Umngeni.