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Drosscapes of the GCR

Research on mining activities, for the most part, looks at mining activities and their planning implications as they are today. However, limited research within the GCR has been conducted on the post-mining landscapes of the GCR. This project attends to this lacuna, investigating the GCR’s spatial forms as consequences and/or “waste” products of the mining activities within this region. It builds on the Mining landscapes of the GCR (2018) research report, although through an alternative lens of the drosscapes idea and drawing inspiration from international studies which look at the post-mining landscape.

The project is framed within the political ecology perspective, also drawing on the assemblage, complexity, and systems theories to create a fertile ground for explaining the interplay between mining and the urban landscape of the GCR. It then explores the historiography of the GCR’s post-mining landscapes, their locations, economic, demographic, social, and environmental forms, the scholarly debates and policy work on them as well as issues around their restoration. To that end, the visual, qualitative, quantitative and spatial data as well as policy materials will be used. The policy implications of the GCR post-mining landscape is also an important part of the project.

The current work on the project is a conceptual output related to the description highlighted above. The subsequent work focuses on the geography of the GCR’s post-mining landscapes, a compilation of different case studies of such landscapes, which will provide grounded and theoretical informed insights into the state of post-mining landscapes in the GCR and their implications for urban, economic and infrastructural development. With 2019 being the first, the project is expected to run over 3 years, culminating with a Gauteng City-Region Observatory Research Report.

Key partners

Relevant WITS and UJ departments, Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry (CSMI), Post-Mining Landscapes of the Witwatersrand Studio group, government, mining companies and non-profit organisations.

Last updated: 31 July 2019.


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