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Stories about Labor and Economics.

Resource-Cursed South Africa Suffers More Mining Massacres

Patrick Bond

The undermining of the African economy and society by minerals tycoons never ceases. When times were good and the commodity super-cycle raised prices to all-time highs from 2002-11, the natural resources boom could have been channelled into benefits for the citizenry, perhaps through a sovereign wealth fund or nationalised mines.

But pro-corporate policy prevailed and instead of circulating the wealth, most major mining houses are headquartered overseas and export their profits. The continent suffered a net negative outflow of wealth (‘adjusted net saving’), according to even the pro-extraction-and-export World Bank. Depletion of so-called ‘natural capital’ (i.e. ripping minerals from the soil) left the continent’s producers poorer, especially during the 2000s boom that was misnamed ‘Africa Rising’.

Sow Extractivism, Reap Violence

Eduardo Gudynas

It is slowly becoming evident that today’s extractivism [economy based upon the extraction and export of natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals] is advancing in a context of increasing violence. This is not an exaggeration: distinct forms of violence are being employed to impose and protect extractivism, a situation in which popular mobilization also and ever more frequently finds itself entrapped.

This outcome should not be surprising. We know that the advance of extractivism through industries such as open air mining megaprojects, oil exploration in the Amazon, or single crop cultivation, has had enormous social, economic, territorial and environmental impacts.


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