Fear and panic rocked owners of the mining companies and earth moving hiring machines and equipment.
The development followed the recent announcement by government through the Ministry of Transport and Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) to ask owners of earth moving machines to get their equipment licensed by March 31, or risk prosecution.
Individuals who rent such equipment are also compelled to comply with the directive being implemented.
It says it is implementing the directive in consultation with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Transport Ministry.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Ministry of Transport after a two-day media engagement workshop held in CElmina in the Central Region from Saturday 9 to Sunday 10, 2019.
The statement which was signed by the Minister of Transport, Mr. Kwaku Ofori-Asante Asiamah explained that as part of efforts to sanitise and regularize mining operations in the country, the IMCIM is tracking all earth moving equipment (excavators, bulldozers) for licensing and registration with the authority mandated by law to license and register all motorized vehicles.
The Ministry of Transport, through its agency the DVLA in collaboration with the IMCIM and with the active support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, have urged owners of earth moving equipment (excavators, bulldozers), as well as those who hire these equipment, to endeavour to license and register them with the DVLA, if they have not done so already.
The affected persons and institutions are advised to take note that “a person who uses or keeps a motor vehicle or trailer not being an exempt motor vehicle on a road when particulars of the motor vehicle or trailer have not been entered in the register maintained by the licensing authority in accordance with section 39 of the Road Traffic Act, 2004, Act 683, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both” the statement revealed.
According to Mr Asiamah, government has realized that most of these excavators, bulldozers are prevalent and used at mining areas so it has partnered the Local Government Ministry through the Assemblies to undertake the exercise of touring these mining companies.
“We have partnered the Local Government through the Assembly and DVLA to undertake this exercise. We will be visiting the big mining companies across the country (Newmont, Goldfields Damang).
We will go and take inventory and assess the unregistered ones, those which are not registered, we will register them” he told Today in an interview on the sideline at the capacity building workshop for journalists under the auspices of DVLA and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) at Elmina.
He explained that before the end of the month of March, the Ministry through its allied agencies will send a team of taskforce to tour the various sites to ensure compliance.
Furthermore, the whole idea of getting the mining companies to register these equipment is also to stem the tide of galamsey and also ensure that in the event of accident, these machines are properly registered for victims to assess valid insurance claims, the Minister noted.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
Writer’s email Freeman.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pix: Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister for Transport