Sanctoreum: building safe habitats for south African miners
Registration Closes: 26th Oct, 2020
Submission Deadline: 10th Nov, 2020
Result Announcement: 7th Jan, 2021
The country of South Africa has been renowned worldwide for its mineral wealth, both in diversity and its sheer abundance. Among the many resources originating from Africa’s mineral fertile soil, South Africa provides roughly 80% of the world’s supply of the precious metal, contributing to billions in the nation’s GDP. However, the human cost of the mining of platinum over decades at end has been extraordinary, serving as a microcosm of the entirety of the problems associated with the mining industry the world over.
The platinum rich Bushveld Igneous Complex stretching over roughly 60,000 square kilometers accounts for a majority of South Africa’s platinum producing mines. The belt comprises of its Northern, Eastern and Western limbs. Among these, the sprawling mining community of Ikemeleng in Kroondal in its western leg forms the nexus of as many as six mining companies.
This informal settlement of miners is at the receiving end of high levels of dust and atmospheric refuse from the mining sites in its immediate vicinity, having a terrible impact on the residents’ respiratory health. The scrawling settlement with rows of shacks also lack basic municipal services, and have become flagrant grounds for substance abuse, HIV/Aids and other STDs, rape, underage pregnancy, unemployment and xenophobia. The land around is rendered unfit for agricultural use due to the mining, and a public health crisis within local communities ill-equipped to cope with mining-generated air, land and water pollution is brewing.
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