oa South African Medical Journal - The health of mine(r)s - : from the editor

Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



South Africa is a developing country reliant on selling resources. Its financial health and the health of its citizens are massively dependent on and influenced by its mines. The importance of the mining industry can be gauged from a look at some figures - for example, in 2009 the South African mining industry had over 1 000 mines and 483 212 employees; 168 888 were in platinum, 148 832 in gold, 68 006 in coal, and the rest in other commodities. The 16 August 2012 shooting by police that resulted in the death of 34 striking Lonmin mine workers in what has become known as the 'Marikana massacre', and its aftermath, have cost the country billions in damage to property and lost export income. Miners and their families, especially those who wished to work, have suffered severe hardship.

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