South Africa-a story of water. Illegal sand mining in many of our rivers continues to destroy the fragile ecosystems and compromise the ability of the river to deliver clean water and retain healthy habitats for fish and other riverine species. Rivers like the Umngeni, which provides the bulk of water for the greater Durban metropolis, are criss-crossed scars from mining. The disturbance, apart from being a considerable eyesore, has further consequences such as river bank erosion and eutrofication of stagnant pools, an increase in disease vectors such as mosquitoes, and a safety hazard for anyone using the river, especially children playing on the banks. Regulating the activity will ensure the more strategic removal of sand and that rehabilitation is done to minimise the post mining impacts.