Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Farmers who are adjacent to the tailing suffer from asthma

Nobulawo Sitshaluza


Qalisile Nzima is a mother of three daughters and she is a commercial farmer. They have two girls and one boy, Siphesihle, Thandolwethu, and Mbuyiseni. She also has a two-year-old grandchild. This family of five members lives in Soweto Snake Park address no 5393 block 1. She started farming in 2014 since then she has been a successful farmer and it has been ten years now since she started farming. 

 She owns cows, pigs, and goats; her father works with her on the farm daily. He assists her with some of the duties and helps her when selling the livestock. I interviewed her about the impacts of the tailing mine dump since they are farming adjacent to it.

  “I love farming and my children also love the animals we get stressed when they get sick and die because of the mine tailing dust,” said the Qalisile. She indicated that since she has been involved in farming her health has been badly impacted by the dust and she now has asthma.

I was admitted to Baragwanath Hospital on the 15th of May 2024, I was struggling to breathe and my chest was wheezing the whole night. My children were scared and they started to panic. I called an ambulance and it took time to arrive. This happened around 2 am. They had to walk to the police station late at night but the patrollers accompanied them”. I was said Qalisile.

She is a member of the farm committee and she faces many challenges as a committee member because it is a male-dominated industry. She finds that mostly her ideas are never taken seriously and she is often discriminated against because she is a woman.

She is very determined to keep farming and is a hard worker.