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Title:Mining with a 'Vuvuzela': reconfiguring artisanal mining in Southern Zimbabwe and its implications to rural livelihoods
Author:Mabhena, CliffordISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:gold mining
land reform
Abstract:The rural landscape of Zimbabwe has dramatically changed in the last decade. In 2000 the Zimbabwe government embarked on a controversial rapid land redistribution exercise that saw vast tracts of land previously owned by white commercial farmers taken over and distributed to mostly black Zimbabweans. Rural dwellers in the countryside had for years depended on agrarian livelihoods and the fact that more land had been availed by the State meant better livelihoods. However, this article argues that in spite of a widened horizon to pursue agrarian activities many people have actually drifted away from on-farm to off-farm livelihoods. This is true in the case of southern Zimbabwe where a large number of rural dwellers have chosen artisanal gold mining as a pathway in realizing a livelihood. This article focuses on the expansion of artisanal gold mining in southern Matabeleland. Using fieldwork as a method of data gathering, the article unravels the development of artisanal mining in this region and how it has been reconfigured after the hosting of the Soccer World Cup in South Africa 2010. In particular it shows how the metal detector technology (the 'Vuvuzela') availed by the hosting of the Soccer World Cup has found its way to the region and changed the gold panning process. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]