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13 Oct 2016

So. Africa: Harvard Law School report says South African govt. not doing enough to protect communities' rights against negative effects of mining

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Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) has released a report on the effects of gold mining on communities in and around Johannesburg, entitled: "The Cost of Gold: Environmental, Health, and Human Rights Consequences of Gold Mining in South Africa’s West and Central Rand". The report documents the threats posed by water, air, and soil pollution from mining in the West and Central Rand. It notes that acid mine drainage has contaminated water bodies that residents use for domestic purposes on a daily basis. Dust from mine waste dumps has blanketed communities. The report also says that the government has allowed homes to be built near and sometimes on those toxic and radioactive dumps. The report calls on South Africa to develop a coordinated and comprehensive program that deals with the range of problems associated with gold mining in the region. While industry and communities have a significant role to play, the report focuses on the responsibility of the government to ensure human rights are protected.

The report and media articles related to this story are below: