Mining has globally been a key catalyst in economic development. That said, as mines inevitably move from boom to bust, there are signiﬁcant local consequences for the mining towns and their populations when downscaling occurs. Gold mining has played an important historical role in the development of South Africa. Two secondary cities that have been particularly affected are Matjhabeng (Free Stateprovince) and Matlosana (North-West Province). This paper, in that it is based on primary document analysis (basic data and qualitative interviews) and on secondary research, investigates the nature of mine downscaling, the resultant policy and economic responses to the downscaling and the associated economic restructuring that is currently occurring in two secondary cities in South Africa. It is the result of a mismatch between government support and what is really required at the local level, and moreover that the approach to social licensing in South Africa through social and labour plans does not assist in the creation of either collaborative planning. Mining has created some local beneﬁts (refuting the theories of the resource curse and the Dutch disease) and that the two secondary cities are managing to buffer mine downscaling by means of performing regional service functions.
Marais, L., van Rooyen, D., Nel, E., & Lenka, M. (2017). Responses to mine downscaling: Evidence from secondary cities in the South African Goldﬁelds, The Extractive Industries and Society, 4, pp. 163-171. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2017.01.004