Digging deeper into housing needs of miners

Belinda Bantham -- Wed, 01/15/2020 - 09:55

Digging deeper into housing needs of miners

Changing migration patterns and the recruitment of women to the mining industry have highlighted the need for more research into the housing needs of black miners in South Africa.

Prof Olebogeng David Daw, an economics professor at the North-West University (NWU), is applying his research skills to dig deeper into the topic.

Prof Daw, who is respected here and abroad for his passion for and specialisation in resource and development economics, has pointed out that more black women are working in the mining sector than was the case a decade ago.

He recently delivered a paper on migration at the International Conference on Recent Studies and Research held at the Coris Department Sapienza University in Rome, Italy.

"The paper looks at the housing needs of black mineworkers and different options or alternative approaches for housing," he explains.

Prof Daw says when the new democratic government came to power in South Africa in 1994, there was a move away from a migratory labour system to an alternative accommodation strategy for black workers.

“Under apartheid, mines followed a highly paternalistic approach to accommodation,” he says. "Paternalism on the mines entailed the provision of accommodation, food, health and recreational facilities.”

The majority of black miners are unskilled, earn very little and ultimately cannot qualify for proper housing at financial institutions, but Prof Daw believes this can be addressed.

"I recommend the development of a housing subsidy scheme for black low-income miners in South Africa."

Prof Olebogeng Daw is of the view that more research is needed on the housing needs of black mineworkers.