We were saddened to hear that at least 30 people died at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa this week. When we were in South Africa (road signs, Braai, Fences in South Africa, Bongwe, Kliptown, Planes Trains and Automobiles to South Africa, Pilanesburg, We Saw Lions, Grateful) we went by that mine. It is enormous and it was the only man-made thing of any real size for over an hour.
Driving near the mine, we were struck by the area’s poverty and lack of infrastructure. Our guide explained to us that locals have not really profited from the mine’s success and the high price of platinum over the previous decade. Local communities still face a lack of employment and agricultural collapse. Sewage backs up and spills into rivers, there are squatter camps, and the locals have a myriad of health problems. The large well lit and fortified mine, stood in stark contrast to the poverty of the surrounding area.
Although I couldn’t find any pictures I took of the mine itself, these were taken in the surrounding area. For some beautiful pictures of the nearby National Park, check out our photos of Pilanesburg.