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Water, mining, and waste: an historical and economic perspective on conflict management in South Africa


Author Info

  • Rebecca A. Adler

    (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)

  • Marius Claassen

    (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)

  • Linda Godfrey

    (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)

  • Anthony R. Turton.

    (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)

Registered author(s):


    Lack of government intervention in South Africa’s mining industry has worsened conflicts associated with limited water resources. With the advent of democracy, new legislation demands that all South African citizens have the right to a clean, safe environment, including access to potable water, and that the country develop in a sustainable manner. But conflict remains due to the historical partnership between the government and the mining industry, as well as due to cumulative impacts associated with mining, which has polluted natural ground water sources. In this article, an historical overview of the mining industry in South Africa is presented, along with a simple economic model to describe behavior of the mining industry over time. Legislative frameworks used to address mine waste and mine water management are evaluated and suggestions are made for how to use an understanding of resource driven conflict to improve the outlook of mining and access to water for all in South Africa.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Economists for Peace and Security (UK) in its journal Economics of Peace and Security Journal.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 33-41

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    Handle: RePEc:uwe:journl:v:2:y:2007:i:2:p:33-41

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    Related research

    Keywords: Water; mining; conflict; South Africa;

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