South Africa

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of South Africa signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 26 June 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was promulgated on 5 December 2003.

South Africa regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014 and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it provided general comments. South Africa did not attend the intersessional meetings of the treaty in May 2019. It last submitted an updated Article 7 transparency report in 2014.

South Africa served as co-rapporteur and later co-chair of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention from 1999–2000 and 2003–2005.

South Africa is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. South Africa is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, use, transfer, stockpiling

South Africa is a past producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines. The United States (US) Department of Defense has identified South Africa as manufacturing six antipersonnel mines: the R2M2, the R2M1, the Mini-MS 803, Shrapnel No. 2, the Type 72 (a direct copy of the Chinese Type 72), and the no. 69 Mk1 (a direct copy of the Italian Valmara 69). South Africa’s mines have been found in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and exported further afield to Cambodia, Rwanda, and Somalia. It stopped production in 1995 and prohibited export in 1996. In May 1996, it suspended the use of antipersonnel mines.

South Africa completed destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines in October 1998. It initially retained 5,000 antipersonnel mines; this number was reduced to 4,291 by the middle of 2012.[1]

South Africa has no mined areas.[2] It has been working with Zimbabwe and Mozambique to clear the Great Limpopo Trans Frontier Park, which is shared by the three countries.[3]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 22 August 2012.

[2] Ibid., Form C, 4 May 2011.

[3] Statement of South Africa, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 30 November 2010. Notes by the ICBL.