The socio-economic wellbeing of small mining towns in the Northern Cape

Gardiner, Avril Edward Mathew (2017-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: With South Africa being a developing country in many respects, the management of natural resources is of high importance. It should therefore be determined how these resources are managed and what happens to the capital generated by the extraction of these resources. The resource curse hypothesis will be used as a base to understand why there are so many underdeveloped communities in places where these resources are extracted. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature and extent of the economic and social conditions of the communities of small mining towns in the Northern Cape. The research objectives of the study were (1) to study the literature on the effects of mining on mining town communities as well as the responses to these effects on human well-being and quality of life; (2) to identify key dimensions and indicators to determine social and economic well-being; (3) to show the change in socio-economic well-being as well as demographics over a ten-year period, and identify the factors determining changes; (4) to rank these towns according to their level of socio-economic well-being; and (5) to investigate the current climate of social and economic well-being in two case study towns by conducting interviews with key stakeholder. The study followed an exploratory sequential mixed-methods approach. Quantitative data was obtained using the census data of 2001 and 2011. A composite indicator index was then formulated to show the level of quality of life and human well-being of these towns. The towns were ranked according to this index and two case studies were done, one near the top and one near the bottom of the ranking. Data was captured and analysed using STATISTICA, Excel and ArcGIS. Perceptions on the current state of development and the impact of mining on these communities were obtained by semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The findings indicate that the resource curse does exist in small mining towns in the Northern Cape, which is a frontier region. It was also found that small towns are dependent on a single industry, in this case mining andhave few alternatives when it comes to diversification. It is also difficult for government to drive development since they, too, are dependent on the financial input of these mining companies. The findings in this study should assist policy-makers in government and the mining companies to identify the possible shortcoming of development strategies and plans, and in formulating these strategies and plans in accordance with the specific circumstances of each of these small towns Keywords and phrases: Socio-economic wellbeing, quality of life, mining towns, frontier region, resource curse, resource dependence, corporate social responsibility, composite indicator index

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika is ‘n ontwikkelende land in baie opsigte en daarom is die bestuur van natuurlike hulpbronne van die uiterste belang. Daar moet daarom bepaal word hoe hierdie hulpbronne bestuur word en hoe die kapitaal wat deur die ontginning van hierdie hukpbronne generereer word, aangewend word. Die “hulpbronvloek” (“resource curse”) hipotese word in hierdie studie gebruik ten einde te begryp waarom daar so baie onder-ontwikkelde gemeenskappe is in die gebiede waar hierdie hulpbronne ontgin word. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die aard en omvang van die ekonomiese en sosiale omstandighede van die gemeenskappe in klein myndorpe in die Noord- Kaap te ondersoek. Die navorsingsoogmerke van die studie is (1) om die literatuur oor die invloed van mynbedrywighede op gemeenskappe in myndorpe, en die reaksies op hierdie invloede op menslike welstand en lewensgehalte te ondersoek; (2) om die hoof-dimensies en indikatore van sosiale en elkonomiese welstand te bepaal; (3) om die verandering in sosio-ekonomiese welstand en demografie oor ‘n tydperk van tien jaar aan te toon, en om die faktore wat verandering bepaal, te identifiseer; (4) om die dorpe volgens die vlak van sosio-ekonomiese welstand op ‘n ranglys te plaas; en (5) om die huidige klimaat van sosiale en ekonomiese welstand te ondersdoek deur onderhoude met sleutel belangegroepe in twee gevallestudies te voer. ‘n Eksploratiewe sekwensiële gemengde metode benadering word in die studie gebruik. Die sensusdata van 2001 en 2011 word as die kwantitatiewe data gebruik. ‘n Saamgestelde indeks van indikatore is geformuleer om die vlak van lewensgehalte en menslike welstand in die dorpe aan te toon. Die dorpe is volgens hierdie indeks op ‘n ranglys geplaas, en twee gevallestudies is gedoen., met die een dorp naby die bokant en die ander een naby die onderkant van die lys. STATISTICA, Excel en ArcGIS is gebruik om die data vas te lê en te analiseer. Persepsies van die huidige stand van ontwikkeling en die impak van mynbedrywighede op hierdie gemeenskappe is bekom deur semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met sleutel belangegroepe in die openbare sektor en privaatsektor te voer. Die bevindinge dui aan dat die hulpbronvloek wel in klein myndorpe in die grensgebied van die Noord-Kaap bestaan. Daar is ook bevind dat daar beperkte opsies met betrekking tot diversifikasie bestaan in die geval van klein dorpe wat vir hulle voortbestaan van een industrie, in hierdie geval die mynbedryf, afhanklik is. Dit is moeilik vir die staat om ontwikkeling aan te voer aangesien die staat vir finansiering ook van die mynmaatskappye afhanklik is. Die bevindinge in hierdie studie behoort beleidmakers in die regering en die mynmaatskappye te help om moontlike tekortkomings van ontwikkelingstrategieë en -planne te identifiseer, en om hierdie strategieë en planne ooreekomstig die spesifieke omstandighede van elkeen van hierdie klein dorpe te formuleer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100855
This item appears in the following collections: