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The Social Impacts of Mine Closure in South Africa: Housing Policy and Place Attachment


Year published: 2023
Categories: Book

Author / Authors:

  • Marais, L.


The Social Impacts of Mine Closure in South Africa: Housing Policy and Place Attachment. London: Routledge


This book investigates the relationship between mining, mine closure and housing policy in post-apartheid South Africa, using concepts from new institutional economics and evolutionary governance theory. Mine closures present a major challenge to the mining industry and governments, with this being particularly noticeable in the Global South. This book argues that the dependencies created by the mining industry and mine housing policies while a mine is operational cause serious societal problems when it closes. To demonstrate this, the book applies the concepts of place attachment, asset-based development and social disruption. Conceptually, the book challenges the view that place attachment and asset-based development are the most appropriate and often the only policy responses in mining areas. In South Africa, the mining industry and the government have created comprehensive housing programmes linked to homeownership to promote place attachment, stability and wealth among mine workers. These programmes do not consider the disruption that mine closure might bring. The book challenges the blind application, during boom periods, of policies which create long-term dependencies that are difficult to manage when a mine closes. This book will be of interest to students and scholars researching the social impacts of mining and the extractive industries, social geography and sustainable development, as well as policymakers and practitioners working with mine closure or social impact assessments.


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