South African Coal Mining: Corporate Grievance Mechanisms, Community Engagement Concerns and Mining Impacts

Water Pond at Informal Settlement in South Africa

Bench Marks Foundation, August 2014.

The release of this latest study, Policy Gap 9, in the series of research projects focussing on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the Southern African mining environment, coincides with the local mining industry suffering from one of the most protracted periods of labour strikes in history. Despite doing one of the most labour intensive and dangerous jobs in the world, mine workers in the country are (20 years into democracy) still not earning a sustainable living wage. The world has also recently celebrated Workers’ Day, but for many workers in the mining sector there is nothing to be happy about. Mine workers continue to work and live in a hostile environment with unsafe and dreadful conditions and face permanent risks to their health and lives on a daily basis.

This report provides detailed case studies of the social and environmental impacts caused by Anglo American and BHP Billiton’s coal-mining operations in Mpumalanga province in South Africa.

Read the full report here