Starting from 01 December 2023, SAPS Gauteng has been implementing Operation Vala Umgodi which is a national operation to combat illegal mining. Gauteng has an illegal mining challenge in three districts namely, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and West Rand. These integrated illegal mining operations take place on a weekly basis rotating in these three districts. Illegal mining is also addressed through Operation Shanela by police stations that are affected by this scourge.

Today, Operation Vala Umgodi is underway in Matholesville, Roodepoort, Gauteng, comprising of various SAPS Specialised Units such as Public Order Policing (POP), Tactical Response Team (TRT), National Intervention Unit (NIU), Mobile Operations are joined by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), Crime Prevention Wardens, Home Affairs Immigration Services, CPF and Patrollers among others.

Since the beginning of the operation, successes include the arrest of about 600 suspects of which 500 are undocumented persons. The multi-disciplinary forces have so far seized, six firearms (three hand guns and three rifles), 871 various assorted rounds of ammunition, explosives, gold bearing material, and thousands of illegal mining equipment such as phendukas, gas cylinders and generators among other exhibits.

Today, 20 undocumented persons have been arrested and hundreds of illegal mining equipment seized in this disruptive operation so far. The suspects are taken through the processing centre manned by members of Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC), Crime Intelligence, Detectives and Immigration Officers.