FOCUS AREAS 2017-09-02T18:43:43+00:00

Project Description

The West Rand Goldfields

The LRC is working to enforce regulations that require both the mining companies and the government to remediate and rehabilitate the cumulative impact of mining activities, which have only become apparent in this area decades after the cessation of mining operations.  Significant levels of radioactive dust, toxic water pollution, and soil contamination are of concern to the 1.6 million people living in low cost government sponsored housing and informal settlements adjacent to the mines.

The tailings (above-ground hills, composed of the earth removed from the underground mines illustrated in the image above left) are poorly managed and monitored. The World Health Organization is currently testing 1,600 nearby residents for excessive levels of uranium, which can cause respiratory and/or renal disease and failure.

People Affected
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West Rand extends from Randfontein in the west to Roodepoort in the east, and includes the town of Krugersdorp. The areas of Carletonville and Westonaria are sometimes included as being part of the Far West Rand.

Massacre at Marikana

Working with two other organizations, the LRC launched civil damages against the South African Minister of Police on behalf of  the families of 37 mine workers, who were killed in 2012 by police during a strike at the Marikana platinum mine, about 90 miles north of Johannesburg.  The families are seeking compensation for the loss of financial support, medical expenses incurred for medical treatment, and loss of life, which included parental care in some cases.  The families also seek a formal apology from the Minister of Police.

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The Marikana massacre, which took place on 16 August 2012, was the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since 1960. Marikana area is close to Rustenburg, South Africa.

The Right to a Basic Education

The LRC is working hard and effectively to hold the South African government accountable to rights established by the country’s Constitution.  As late as 2011, more than 3,500 schools still did not have access to electricity, 900 schools still did not have sanitation facilities, and 2,400 schools still lacked clean water.  But now all 3,500 mud schools in South Africa are being replaced after the LRC took the Eastern Cape Department of Education to court numerous times.

Minimum standards for school conditions – including a library with an adequate collection – have been established.  All South African children must now have a desk and chair.

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