Connect to share and comment

Southern African countries commit to address mineworkers’ TB

Following World TB Day, regional ministers signed a framework to address a century-old crisis that crosses borders
140327 tb southern africaEnlarge
A medical worker is pictured at a mobile testing facilities for tuberculosis (TB) at Driefontein Gold Mine in Carletonville, South Africa on March 24, 2012. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe launched a national TB control plan amongst gold miners, beginning with a programme to test workers. (Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images)

In 1902, Lord Alfred Milner, Britain's administrator in South Africa, appointed a commission to find out why so many workers in the territory’s lucrative gold and diamond mines were developing tuberculosis. Breathing in silica dust — abundant in mines and quarries — was the main culprit, the commission found. It said there was “urgent need” for reform to protect workers.

More than a century later, the fatal infectious disease has not eased its grip in the region. Miners in South Africa and neighboring countries have the highest TB infection rates in the world. In South Africa, the incidence of the disease was more than 1,000 out of every 100,000 people in 2012, and the country’s 2.5 million current and former mineworkers are most at risk. 

But new efforts are underway to tackle the epidemic at a regional level and involve more mining companies in addressing the crisis.

More

Not Wanted: Somalis in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The attacks on Somali-owned shops spread like a wildfire through the townships around Port Elizabeth, a city on South Africa's southeastern coast. When it was over, more than 100 small businesses mostly run by Somali nationals had been looted, some destroyed by petrol bombs, and their owners driven from the area by rampaging residents.

South Africa: Police 'lied' about deadly miners' shooting, commission says

JOHANNESBURG — Police lied about events surrounding the Marikana shootings last year, in which 34 striking mineworkers were killed, a commission of inquiry has said. A total of 44 people were killed in weeks of violent protests at the mine, including 10 deaths in the week leading up to the police mass shooting, among them two police officers and two security guards.

New South Africa TV network pushes pro-gov't 'sunshine journalism'

JOHANNESBURG — Broadcasters and newspapers with ties to the government are touting the idea of “sunshine journalism,” in contrast to the fierce adversarial tradition of South Africa’s independent media.  

A year after South Africa’s miner massacre, union killings haven't stopped

MARIKANA — Under a blistering South African sun, thousands gathered Friday at the barren rock outcropping where a year ago police shot dead 34 striking mineworkers.

Nearly 1,500 South African police found to have criminal records

An audit of the South African Police Service's 157,500 members showed that almost 1,500 of them had been convicted of crimes.

Addicted to drugs in Mandela's old neighborhood

JOHANNESBURG — Across the street from Nelson Mandela’s former home, the hulking Alexandra Heritage Center stands empty and abandoned.

Meet Mandela's grandson, the gravedigger?

JOHANNESBURG — While Nelson Mandela remains critically ill in hospital, the former South African president’s eldest grandson is facing criminal charges of tampering with graves in the family cemetery.

President Obama's South Africa visit met by protesters

Hundreds marched to the US embassy in South Africa Friday in protest of the upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama.

Got 'struggle cred'? Anti-apartheid activist moves to take on ANC

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — To get ahead in the knotty world of South African politics, you need what are known here as “struggle credentials,” a code of honor borne from this country’s apartheid past.
Syndicate content