Thursday, December 06, 2007


About a quarter of a million mineworkers downed tools on Tuesday in South Africa, the world's top producer of gold and platinum.
"This year's death toll has reached 200, mostly owing to rock falls and explosions in several mines. Many mines have been unchanged for decades but recently reopened, thanks to high world prices that have made them profitable again." (Times, 5 December) The miners are concerned about the lack of safety in the mining industry which one striker described as "dripping in blood". The average wage of a miner in South Africa is about $200 a month. None of them will be wearing gold or diamonds that is for sure. RD

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