South Africa to set aside $190 million to improve conditions at mining towns
A government committee focused improving living conditions in some of South Africa’s most distressed mining towns announced that $190 million has been set aside to improve conditions over the next three years.
The violent labor unrest that has shaken South Africa's mining industry, including a five-month platinum strike this year, has been blamed in part on the wretched social conditions found in overcrowded shantytowns around the shafts, Reuters reported.
The funds will be dispersed to 14 towns that were identified, according to Jeff Radebe, the planning minister in South Africa's presidency.
This includes Rustenburg west of Johannesburg, the scene of frequent violent labor conflict in grim squatter camps erected near the world's richest platinum reserves.
Mines minister Ngoako Ramathlodi said the government's plan did not "replace the obligations of the mining companies," which are required by law to meet a number of social commitments in the communities where they work.
The world's top platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin operate in South Africa, as well as Africa's biggest bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti.