South Africa

Marikana: scant change as some miners still live in cramped tin shacks

PREMIUM!

Ntombi Mthethwa still lives in the two-bedroom house she moved into when she arrived in 2004.

PREMIUM!

Marikana: scant change as some miners still live in cramped tin shacks

Ntombi Mthethwa outside her home in Marikana, 23 October 2020, North West. Picture: Jacques Nelles

It’s mid-morning in Nkaneng – the ramshackle shantytown on the outskirts of Marikana where most of the local mineworkers live – and the sun is beating down. The dusty streets are swarming with young and old alike, trying to escape the suffocating heat of their tin shacks. This was once a place of hope, drawing people from across the country who thought work at the then Lonmin-owned platinum mine could offer them a better life. But it is now a place of desperation and pain. The rocky outcrop on which striking miners on 16 August, 2012 made their last stand...

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