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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A historiography on past scientific research and references to environmental health concerns in the Merafong gold mining region of South Africa
Authors:Van Eeden, Elize S.
Nealer, Eric J.ISNI
Liefferink, MarietteISNI
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:gold mining
water pollution
Abstract:Gold mining in the Merafong (Carletonville) area in Gauteng Province, South Africa, has had a significant impact on the environment since the 1930s. The agricultural sector was the first to raise concerns about the effects of the deteriorating water quality in the area on crops and animals. The possible effects of environmental degradation on humans was not a serious agenda point until the early 21st century. This article discusses research carried out over the years on gold mining, the environment and health in the former West Rand area. It shows that water pollution by heavy metals received more attention from the 1970s. Research in the 1990s marked a more proactive approach, emphasizing that gold mining was the main cause of pollution in the area. Some research has been carried out by gold mining companies on the health status of their workforce, but the findings have not been released. Currently gold mining companies are cooperating with academic institutions to address a variety of environmental impacts. However, mining closures have become a reality which may lead to further deterioration of surface and groundwater. Notes, ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]