Project Title: Mapping, classifying and measuring wellbeing in mining communities across South Africa
Research Theme: Resilient Post-mining communities
Supervisor(s): Jennifer L. Broadhurst
This research contributes to the understanding and delineation of mining communities in South Africa to support the socio-economic development of communities affected by large-scale mining, and provides a case study on measuring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the global mining sector. It provides the first comprehensive mapping and classification of 84 mining communities (cities, towns and villages) across South Africa and proposes a quantitative methodology for classifying mining communities in any country with a significant large-scale mining industry. The mining communities are classified based on their population size and the level of influence of mining on each community, calculated using five quantifiable parameters – duration of mining, proximity to mining operations, remoteness, duration in years that the town preceded mining, and the number of mines. Data on social and economic indicators (electricity, water, sanitation, housing, education, health, employment, income, household goods) across eight SDGs were collected for all 84 communities from the 2011 national census and analysed and visualised in radar plots for different commodities and clusters. The results provide a useful input into the design of Social and Labour Plans, required by companies to obtain a mining licence in South Africa, and into the identification of SDG indicators for the mining industry.