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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:New technology brings big changes on the mines
Author:Hermanus, M.
Periodical:South African Labour Bulletin
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:gold mining
technological change
Abstract:This article deals with new developments in South Africa's goldfields, known as the Witwatersrand Basin, and consists of seven parts. Part 1 is an interview with a shaft steward at Vaal Reefs on what it is like to work deep beneath the earth. Part 2 examines retrenchments at Johannesburg Consolidated Investment's Western Areas Goldmine as a consequence of the introduction of mechanized trackless mining. Part 3 examines mechanization of the South African gold mining industry in general. Part 4 examines the question of why the mines are turning to mechanization. Part 5 exposes how machines are changing underground work (showing that mechanization can improve safety and general working conditions besides leading to retrenchments), and part 6 examines how the mining houses develop new technology. The last part shows how the relation between health and safety and mechanization calls for careful bargaining by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM, the largest union in the mining industry). Ref.