Mpumalanga is at the centre of power generation in South Africa, providing more than 80% of South Africa’s coal resources. After mining and quarrying – which accounts for 29.8% of provincial GDP – manufacturing, power generation, tourism and agriculture are the province’s other major sectors.
Local communities are highly dependent on mining operations as the primary economic driver, both directly as a source of employment and indirectly through local development and services provided.
In the coming decades, many of these mines will close, and with a population of 4.67 million people, transitioning the economy to other viable industries is of critical importance.
To address this, Business for Development worked with a consortium to execute a Pilot at Wonderfontein Colliery in Mpumalanga, South Africa, to test the performance of remediated mine land and mine-affected water for agriculture using both modern and smallholder farming techniques.
Business for Development designed the Pilot to compare the results based on varying inputs. The Pilot tested:
Business for Development then compared the results of each approach.
Through careful planning and strong community engagement, the Pilot proved that remediated mine land and mine-affected water could be used to diversify the economy through agriculture. There were three key outtakes from the Pilot:
Read the full report on the Pilot. Further, the Pilot provided a case study to engage the South African Government on viable post-mine economies.
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