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A geographer assesses the impact of diamond mining on South Africa - Research Paper Example

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Mining is South Africa started in 1880s after the discovery of diamonds on the banks of river Orange.The mining of diamonds and other metals like gold,platinum and cadmium have significantly contributed to making SA the richest nation on the African continent…
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A geographer assesses the impact of diamond mining on South Africa
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Download file to see previous pages Mining is South Africa (SA) started in 1880s after the discovery of diamonds on the banks of river Orange. The mining of diamonds and other metals like gold, platinum and cadmium have significantly contributed to making SA the richest nation on the African continent.The impact of diamond mining in SA is a profound phenomenon whose results can be noticed with turn of the eye. The discovery of the first diamond on the banks of river Orange saw the subsequent change of the regions name from Vooruitzigt to New Rush to Kimberly (Ritter 372). This is just an example of how diamond mining had a life changing influences on the lives of everyone in SA. The discovery of diamonds in Kimberly led to a rush or a massive migration of people from other places who came there to mine this new found treasure. According to historical records, in 1873 Kimberly became the largest and most populated town in SA just a few months after the confirmation of diamond deposits in the region. Kimberly is today known as a town with one of the largest holes dug by hand held tools, which has contributed to the site being named as a world heritage site by UNESCO (Sharma 132). Kimberly a city in the Northern cape of SA is nowadays better known as the historic town that pioneered the mining revolution in SA, and helped forever shape the fortunes of the country as a leading producer of precious metals and gemstones. Diamond mining, in SA, can be attributed to have had a significant impact on the lives of communities and individuals who got directly or indirectly involved with the mining activities of SA. A notable character or name that is synonymous with mining and especially diamond mining and trade in the world De Beers. The second large diamond to be discovered in Kimberly was discovered on land belonging to the De Beers brothers who later came to dominate diamond mining and trade in SA and all over the world up to this date. This was made possible by the consolidation of the small mining companies of time to form the De Beers Consolidated Mines which has a monopoly over diamond trade in the world up to this date (Afolayan 68). Diamond mining caused elevated levels of rural-urban migration especially of black Africans who sought employment in the mines and the great city life experience that Kimberly as the largest town in SA provided. The De Beers encouraged this rural-urban migration because it provided cheap labor that was vital to the profitable running of the mines. The urbanization of this region in SA contributed to a myriad of both negative and positive social cultural factors that were directly or indirectly affected by mining activities. A good example of a vice or social ill that can be construed to be as a direct result of mining and the miners who worked there is prostitution (Marsh 230). Women and girls from every part of SA moved to Kimberly in an effort to cash in on the gold and diamond rush that was taking place. There were other varieties of socio-cultural ills that are usually spawned by urbanization and they were all present in Kimberly. Mining helped create a phenomenon called the status quo, which saw the establishment of classes within the society. These classes saw black Africans occupying the lowest class in that society, which was the poorest, least educated and most oppressed by the rich and educated class of mainly white people (Pitzl 141). This unequal stature in society is still present today albeit diminished or in represented differently compared to that period. Urbanization meant that people got exposed to the white man’s education which can be said to have significantly contributed SA’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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