Gold is where you find it. A multilevel study on the social sustainability of the gold mine industry in Johannesburg

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Historically, mining is one of the oldest documented kinds of human activity. Up until today people have benefited from the natural riches of the earth (Dubinski, 2013). However, mining the materials that is needed to satisfy our consumer society, leaves us all responsible for the social and environmental effects (Abraham, 2015). When it comes to gold, South Africa has been the major global supplier until 2009. The economic well-being of South Africa has been mainly based on mineral wealth (Mogotsi, 2005). Despite the welfare that the resource brought to some, “gold mining activities in the past left a legacy which negatively affects the surrounding environment and communities.” (Viljoen, 2009, p. 135). Moreover, recent global and local developments are affecting the (economic) profitability of the industry. By connecting the national mining context to global developments, this research elaborates on the immediate and long term impacts on the sustainability of the gold mine industry in Johannesburg. The focus of this research is on the social aspects of sustainability, that emphasise the fact that natural resource wealth should transform into sustainable citizen well-being. This study provides insights on how transparency, governance, a critical mass of citizen understanding and resilience could contribute to reduce the risks- and promote social sustainability of the gold mine industry in Johannesburg.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen