South Africa: Mining Coal to Survive

Oct 13, 2023 | People, Videos

In South Africa, survival is increasingly hard to come by for those in poverty. Many miners are risking their lives to dig illegally for coal in long abandoned mines, just to get by. This dangerous practice has recently been exposed in the powerful, award-winning documentary “The End of Coal”.

The documentary follows the stories of miners and families who have resorted to illegally entering long-abandoned mines and digging for coal so they can survive. It delves into the risks these individuals take each day, as they confront danger from flooding tunnels, rock falls, hazardous gases and even black mambas – a deadly species of snake found in the mine shafts.

The documentary also examines the issues surrounding this illegal mining activity and its environmental impact on local communities. As well as mining accidents that directly result in injury or death, it looks at how illegal mining affects the economy in terms of job losses and lack of investment. It shows how local authorities struggle to contain the activity when resources are scarce and villages remain hungry despite government efforts.

“The End of Coal” provides shocking insight into a desperate situation faced by many across South Africa today. The film serves to highlight both the courage and determination needed to survive this daily battle but also how important it is that something is done about it – both within government circles and through direct action from civil society.

Viewers will be moved by this powerful story of everyday heroism which must be seen to be believed – one that encourages us to act before time runs out for those living on the edge of poverty and despair. We urge readers to watch “The End Of Coal” – a unique glimpse into a life lived on an invisible edge – as soon as possible.

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David B