Essay on Effects Mining has on The Soil in South Africa

Essay on Effects Mining has on The Soil in South Africa

Length: 1283 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The mining sector is one of the largest sources of income in South Africa, after the Agricultural sector. It has been a major supporter to the industrialization of South Africa after the discovery of diamonds in Kimberley in1871, and the Witwaterstand goldfields in 1886 (Sorenses, 2012, p.22). This essay would be focusing more on the environmental and social effects mining of Coal, Gold and Uranium has on the soil in South Africa. The waste tailings from the mines are been washed away into the drainage and water system, and atmospheric sulphur, SO2, is been absorbed into the atmosphere causing acid rain. The effluent from the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) enters surface water bodies and the groundwater increasing the pH level, resulting in the degradation of aquatic habitats and, therefore, reducing the soil quality (Davies and Mundalamo, 2010, p.661). Contact and ingestion of infected crops cause various diseases to humans.

State of Aim:
This essay focuses on giving a detailed insight on the dangerous effect on the soil and people of South Africa caused by the mining of various mineral resources (E.g. coal, gold, Uranium) and give suggestions on how to curb these effects.
Impacts of mining on the Biophysical Environment:
South Africa has an abundance of mineral resources, and has been mining for hundreds of years. Mining is referred to as the extraction of minerals such as coal, Uranium, Gold and so on. The mining of heavy metals has a long tradition in South Africa, especially in the territory surrounding Pretoria and Johannesburg (Gzik, Kuehling, Schneider & Tschochner, 2003). These metals are responsible for the alteration of the chemistry of the environment through the release of greenhouse gases such as Sulphur to the a...


... middle of paper ...


...s, 3(1), 29 - 34. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02989466

Munnik, V., Hochmann, G., Hlabane, M., & Law, S. (2010). The social and environmental consequences of coal mining in South Africa. a case study. A joint initiative of Environmental Monitoring Group, Cape Town, South Africa and Both ENDs, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Retrieved from http://www.bothends.org/uploaded_files/uploadlibraryitem/1case_study_South_Africa_updated.pdf

Sorenses, Paul. “Sustainable development in mining companies in South Africa.” International Journal of Environmental Studies 69(1)(2012): 21-40. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

Weissenstein, K., and T. Sinkala. “Soil pollution with heavy metals in mine environments, impact areas of mine dumps particularly of gold- and copper mining industries in southern africa.” Arid Ecosystems 1(1) (2011): 53-58. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ecotourism in South Africa Essay

- South African ecologists currently face many challenges relating to the conservation of biodiversity and the growing economy. Excessive hunting and land development, as well as unemployment, all remain growing concerns for this struggling country. Jan-Hendrik, a South African who made contact with us, stated, “South Africa has lots of social and economic problems because most people are poor. To get them to middle class requires the economy to grow through mines and the expansion of living areas” (Hendrik)....   [tags: Ecology, Biodiversity, Economy, South Africa]

Strong Essays
1333 words (3.8 pages)

Economic And Political Landscape Of South Africa Essay

- Large-scale Gold Mining, and later industrial manufacturing, molded the economic and political landscape of 20th century South Africa. The need for cheap, low-cost labor created the necessity for black laborers within the concentrated mining and manufacturing areas in the Transvaal and the East Cape respectively. However, the racial climate of South Africa meant that the conflicting interests of whites in power, as well as the black South African population, would regularly find themselves at odds over government policies created by the racial-infused politics of early South Africa....   [tags: South Africa, Black people, White people, Africa]

Strong Essays
1354 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on South Africa's Labour Legislation Framework

- South Africa's labour legislation framework promulgated during the past 2 decades & is regarded as some of the most comprehensive in the world. Currently, it has done much to redress the imbalances of the past. With 4 significant Acts promulgated to manage & regulate labor relations in our country, there are still areas lagging behind that have a profound influence on the country's economic performance. After our 1st democratic elections of 1994, there was a clear need for radical change in South Africa's socioeconomic & political order....   [tags: south africa, mbaki, aids, hiv]

Strong Essays
1353 words (3.9 pages)

History of Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa Essay

- The history and beginning of increased acid mine drainage: Mining has been a cornerstone of South Africa’s economy. It was the basis for which one of its main cities, Johannesburg, was built around. Today, gold mining in the Witwatersrand basin has been one of the main contributing factors to mining in South Africa. An estimated 98% of all gold mined in South Africa has been mined from the Witwatersrand basin. South Africa’s total mining reserves have an estimated worth of R20. 3-trillion, giving South Africa the fifth largest mining sector pertaining to GDP worldwide....   [tags: water, ecological, pollution]

Strong Essays
1347 words (3.8 pages)

South Africa Essay

- South Africa South African landscapes provide us with the lush greens of the jungle, the dry grass of the savanna, the majesty of the mountains, the eroded clay of the desert and the high-rise mortar of the city. A filmmaker can find there any background desired as the scenery for his motion picture, but variety is not the only true value of the African landscape. Here we find the lush, well tended greens that represent the wealth and control of the Europeans who have invaded the country; the dry savannas where the animals roam freely, but the native peoples are restricted; the eroded clay that somehow manages to sustain life and reminds us of the outlying township slums that somehow susta...   [tags: History Essays]

Free Essays
2981 words (8.5 pages)

The Economic Effects of the Slave Trade on Africa, Britain, and America Essay

- In today’s day and age money makes the world go round but, that is not the question. The question is what made the world go round in the early 1600’s. Just like the world today money made the world go around back then also. In today’s world machines do all of our dirty work, back then it was all up to the slaves. The colonists had a hard time trying to find the perfect slaves. The indentured servants and Indians came first, however because they could easily escape to freedom, they were not the ideal slaves....   [tags: U.S. History ]

Strong Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)

Deforestation: Its Devastating Effects on South American Rainforests Essay

- Introduction Tropical rainforests are the Earth?s oldest, richest, most productive, and most complex living ecosystems. They are located throughout many of the world?s continents including South America, Africa, and Asia and are defined by a few specific factors. Their location must be within the regions of the tropics and they must receive between 4-8 meters of rain per year (compared to about 1-2 meters in the United States). These forests also have no ?seasonality?, which means that they lack a definite dry or cold season of slowed growth....   [tags: Deforestation Essays]

Strong Essays
1515 words (4.3 pages)

Effects Of The Spanish Influenza On South Africa Essay

- the military, which in turn was the cause, the devastating affects that the Spanish influenza had on South African society. This creation of colonial trade and transport was responsible for not only the emergence of the influenza in South Africa, but then for the spread of the Spanish influenza amongst South Africans along these modes of trade and transport. When evaluating the Spanish influenza’s impact on all of the countries in the world, it is clear that South Africa suffered the greatest per-capita death rates....   [tags: South Africa, Africa, African Union]

Strong Essays
910 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Poverty Of South Africa

- Poorest Region, South Africa South Africa is the most ethnically diverse country in Africa. Poverty has not changed much from 1996 -2001. People in South Africa struggle everyday to find jobs and struggle to survive. Death rates are high and very little has been done to help South Africa get back up on it’s feet. Though there have been some improvements in South Africa, the coutry is still one of the least assisted and prosperous country due to an increase of AIDS, lasting impact of Apartheid, and poor economic development which is why the country’s struggles are so immense....   [tags: South Africa, Africa, Poverty, AIDS]

Strong Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)

The Effects Of Soil Degradation On Nigeria Essay

- Effects of Soil Degradation in Nigeria There are problems Nigerians are facing when it comes to soil degradation. The country is striving to come out from this problem, but the lack of education at an increase mong its working class and farmers have not allowed it to fight a good fight against soil degradation. Today, many lands are no longer useful for agriculture or pastoral activities. This also affects the revenue the government generates from exportation of cash crops and animals. This growing soil degradation also affects industrialised farmers....   [tags: Agriculture, Soil, Nigeria, Erosion]

Strong Essays
957 words (2.7 pages)