On Wednesday, more than 20 undocumented foreign nationals were apprehended in Riverlea, many of them were thought to be working as zama zamas.
This occurred as police sent multiple tactical teams to the area to undertake search-and-seizure operations.
Riverlea has been paralysed by terror following a recent spate of shootings between two rival zama zama gangs.
On Monday, the community shut down several roads in the region, pleading with the authorities to intervene.
During their operations, police confiscated empty gas cylinders used in the unlawful refining of gold, gas bottles, and gold dust.
“The police have since the early hours of this [Wednesday} morning been walking the streets of Zamimpilo Informal Settlement wherein they are engaging with the community. So far, the police have confiscated gas bottles as well as phendukas,” said police spokesperson, Brenda Muridili.
Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area on Monday and addressed a large crowd, pledging that police would be deployed within 24 hours to restore calm.
Many residents believe Cele overreacted with his words, alerting the zama zamas to hide their weapons.