ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Living Next to the Mine: Women’s struggles in mining affected communities

File 36706Mavuso Mkhatshwa (84) lives close to the Imbabala Coal Mine.

Despite the contribution the mining and extractives industry makes to the South African economy, mining operations have very negative effects on the surrounding communities. Contrary to promises of contributing to socioeconomic development, mining companies provide poor labour conditions; evade tax; are complicit in corruption; pollute the environment and natural resources; and regularly flout health and safety regulations. Furthermore, opportunities for women in mines are either limited or more vulnerable, while women in mining communities bear the brunt of the negative impact of mining operations.

This narrative report, compiled by women living in these communties, details these very violations and hardships faced by women as a result of mining operations in their communities. The stories, from Carolina, Ermelo and Emalahleni, not only highlight their lived experiences of the mining and extractives industry, but also the lack of response and recourse offered by local and national governments.

Watch this powerful video demonstrating the daily struggles of women living in mining communities.