Project Title: The wellbeing of mining communities in South Africa
The aim of the study is to compare and contrast the social and economic wellbeing of mining communities across South Africa. All mining communities will be considered but a selection based on commodity, location and mining method will be chosen for the detailed analysis. Community boundaries will be defined based on the boundaries drawn by Statistics South Africa for survey purposes, distance from the mine and distance from the main town. Data for ten social and economic indicators (electricity access, water access, sanitation, housing, health, education, employment, income, household goods, food security) will be collected from the 2011 Census and visualised in radar plots or ‘barometers’. Where possible, data from the 2001 and 1996 censuses will also be collected and plotted. The wellbeing of the communities will be compared and contrasted and possible reasons for the differences will be assessed. This will include national policy, geographical location and mining companies operating in the area. Recommendations for future policy and for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals will be made. Preliminary work on water access and water use in 22 mining communities shows marked differences, with water access ranging from 31% to 99% and water use ranging from 82 litres per person per day (l/c/d) to 2414 l/c/d. In some cases, it is difficult to delineate the boundaries of the communities as they extend quite far beyond the formal town, and the impact of the mine on the community is uncertain. The expected outcome of the study is a deeper understanding of the current state of mining communities and potential levers for improving socio-economic wellbeing in the future.