Five-year-old Richard Thole disappeared down the mine shaft in Boksburg nearly three weeks ago.
Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina says government has no other choice but to call off the search.
He says it’s simply too dangerous to continue rescue operations.
The SANDF has met Thole’s family and says going ahead with the operation could cost more lives.
According to Ekurhuleni emergency services spokesperson Vincent Khoza, the boy fell into the shaft 3 weeks ago, between noon and 1pm.
Residents alerted emergency services who began a search of the area; as the ground was very unstable the search was called off.
On Sunday, emergency services sent two cameras into the shaft; both were destroyed.
Khoza said on Monday: “We’re still on site today. We started again at 1pm as community members were hostile. Once the crowd calmed down, we were able to send one camera down.”
The first camera was not able to descend deep enough to find the boy so a second camera was equipped to make a journey down the shaft.
The second camera was expected to go more than 100m down into the abandoned mine.
Emergency services confirmed that the boy is in the disused shaft.