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Perception of mining articles

11 July 2012, 15:09
I have been in the mining industry for more than 36 years. During that period I was concerned with asbestos , copper, uranium, gold, coal diamonds,  Much of the time I spent on the gold mines in the Free State.  I believe I understand the “mining mentality” and can relate to it in many ways. However, the mining industry in South Africa was mainly, but not completely an Afrikaner citadel and for an English person it is difficult to fit properly into the system  That is the case and nothing could change it: a part of life. This factor was one of the reasons why so many English persons from Britain did not make the grade and that was because they were working in an alien environment and culture.

     During my working career on the mines I have seen the best and the worst in human nature. I have seen people die as a result of their job, I have assisted in carrying their battered bodies out of the mine. Some laughed.

      I have written several articles relating to the mining industry and posted on NEWS 24. In every single article I checked that it was factually correct, In every incident which occurred in those articles mentioned I was an eyewitness or at the most arrived at the scene soon afterwards. Or received a full and up to date information referring to the incident.

  Not a single article was made on the hearsay of others. In some cases I have been accused of lying about the facts or the authenticity of an article. Lying is not my forte. Having been through a safety system and not understanding it or ignoring it is not always seen in the same light by management and worker. Where it concerns safety then I tend to react harshly.  I will never allow any person to do an unsafe act if it could imperil a life. Where management deserves criticism then I will do that too. I will never become a stooge of management nor will  I remain silent to suit the preferences of others.

       What has become apparent is many South Africans living in Gauteng and the Free State have very little knowledge about the industry on their doorsteps. This applies, too, in Mpumalanga. Recently I visited an old acquaintance in Randfontein. This person had lived here most of her life and could not tell where any of the mines are or their names
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