Photography by:
  • Gareth Pon

Mining landscapes of the GCR

The mining landscapes of the GCR are characterised by a series mine residue areas (MRAs) that are scattered across the landscape. MRAs, described as general mine waste that are located within the boundaries of former mine properties, create sterile pockets of land that have historically dissected the city-region along socio-economic lines. These areas also impact society and the environment through their effect on air and water quality and present challenges for neighbouring communities and municipalities that seek to rebuild the region’s unbalanced social geography.

The scope and focus of the GCRO’s research on the mining landscape legacies include a jointly written output. This output will focus on the inter-disciplinary urban, environmental and socio-economic aspects of the mining legacy and its effects on surrounding landscapes. The key focus of the joint report will be on the Witwatersrand, where a majority of urban areas along the rand intersect with the left-over spaces of mining. This is also where the presence of mine waste is likely to affect the future development of space, environment and society. These investigations will provide the necessary context to consider the planning implications of the mining landscape for the GCR and to identify the risks presented by, and the future prospects for overcoming, the GCR’s mining legacy. The research also extends to the opportunities that these spaces, perceived to be ‘absent’ or ‘sterile’, present for the city-region and how these currently exist as spaces of opportunity with immense future potential.

OUTPUTS

GCRO REPORTS

Bobbins, K. (2015) Acid mine drainage and its governance in the Gauteng City-Region, Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

McCarthy, T. (2010) The decanting of acid mine water in the Gauteng City-Region, Johannesburg: Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

PRESENTATIONS

Bobbins, K. (2014) ‘Investigating the financial vulnerability of households to mine residue areas in the Gauteng City-Region, South Africa’, presented at South African Association of Geographers Conference (SAAG). East London, 27 June 2014.

Bobbins, K. (2014) ‘Investigating acid mine drainage and its governance as part of the broader mining landscape legacy of the Gauteng City-Region’, presented at the Reclaiming the Mining Belt Seminar. Johannesburg, 19 February 2014.

Bobbins, K. (2013) ‘The legacy and prospects of the Gauteng City-Region’s mining landscapes’, presented at Sustainable City VIII: 8th International Conference on urban Regeneration and Sustainability. Putrajaya, 4 December 2013.

Bobbins, K. (2013) ‘Investigating acid mine drainage and its governance in the Gauteng City-Region’, presentation made at Launch of the 2013 State of City-Region Review. Johannesburg, 25 October 2013.

Bobbins, K. (2013) ‘Beneath the Surface: Investigating acid mine drainage and its governance in the Gauteng City-Region’, presented at Faces of the City Seminar Series. Johannesburg, 14 May 2013.

PUBLICATIONS

Trangos, G. & Bobbins, K. (2015) ‘Gold mining exploits and the legacies of Johannesburg’s mining landscapes’, Scenario Journal 5: Extraction.

Bobbins, K. (2013) ‘The legacy and prospects of the Gauteng City-Region’s mining landscapes’, WIT Transaction on Ecology and the Environment. 179 (1), 1363-1374.

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