The Impact of Mine Downscaling on the Free State Goldfields
Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa
Mine downscaling is a common international phenomenon; and the deindustrialisation related to mining that occurred in the global north between 1960 and 1990 has been the focus of numerous studies. Mine downscaling in Africa, and more specifically in South Africa, has only risen to prominence in the last two decades. This paper examines the consequences of mine downscaling in the Free State Goldfields of South Africa, against the background of similar impacts in the international arena. Although many of the experiences recorded in the case study mirror the international experience, it is argued that it is probably unrealistic to expect local attempts alone to address mine downscaling, since the magnitude of such downscaling, as described in the paper, is too vast. Subsequently, the paper argues in favour of local partnerships, but with a national strategy for locations that have been affected by the impact of mine downscaling. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
closure; deindustrialization; downscaling; gold mine; mining; national strategy; Free State; South Africa