Miners trapped illegally underground in an abandoned gold shaft in a suburb just east of Johannesburg are now reportedly resisting efforts to rescue them.
Those who have already been pulled out have been arrested.
Initial reports suggested there could have been 200 people stuck, but it is now thought the figure was inflated to speed up the rescue.
The crews are removing a huge piece of concrete to get to the trapped miners, rescue worker Roggers Mamaila explained.
"We will remove the concrete block and then access the people. They are still fine - we managed to give them water through a hole," he said.