Living Conditions of Mine Workers from Eight Mines in South Africa
Poor living conditions are a consequence of the history of the South African mining industry (SAMI), despite legislation having been implemented to attempt to address this challenge. This paper describes the living conditions of mine workers from eight mines in South Africa in 2014, and assesses changes made over the previous decade. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected at three platinum, two gold, one coal, one diamond, and one manganese mine in 53 interviews with mine management, 11 interviews with labour representatives, 14 focus groups with mine workers, and 875 questionnaires completed by mine workers. The use of single-sex hostels and hostel room occupancy rates has reduced, while the use of living-out allowances (LOAs) has increased. Problems included the high proportions of informal accommodation; a lack of access to water, sanitation, and electricity; and poor roads. While improvements to the living conditions in the SAMI are evident, challenges still remain.