Shaft 10: A Health Hazard to the community of Kanana Township

By: Mahadio Mohapi

Kanana is a small township which is surrounded by gold mines, It falls under the area called “KOSH”, consisting of four towns, namely, Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein and Hartebeesfontein. This areas all form part of the gold mines in the Matlosana municipality area of jurisdiction.

They are all directly and indirectly affected by the mining activities such as cracked houses due to blasting, polluted air, polluted water, etc.

There are a number of shafts around Orkney, a town closest to Kanana and the most closest of them all is the No 10 shaft, which I think is posing health hazards to the community. Mostly during windy days it is time when you will realize that the health of the members of the community and the animals nearby are compromised because the dust that comes from the mine becomes unbearable.

One will think and wonder about the those residents who are staying in a close view of the No 10 mine, unfortunately their environmental rights are at stake, never ever before did the environmental health inspectors visited their area to determine the extent of the environmental harm and its possible impacts to the people. It is not a surprise to discover that people got sick of T.B, Sinuses, asthma, lung infection and allergies quite often due to the inhaling of the mine dust.

A study done by researchers from the North West University in 2009 showed that the  air  had was polluted well above the levels set by both  The World Health Organisation and the South African Air Quality Guidelines.