Western Limb is a project with charitable objectives that deals with communities, mining and the state in the Rustenburg mining region of the North West Province in South Africa. Our website is www.westernlimb.org.
The long-term future of this area is uncertain. While its mineral wealth is a huge opportunity for development, this opportunity is in danger of being wasted.
The name Western Limb refers to the refers to the geological formation that gives rise to the rich Platinum Group Metal ore bodies around Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa: the Western Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex.
Rustenburg has been in the news recently, due to the tragic deaths of mineworkers at Lonmin’s Marikana Mine. This tragedy highlights the difficult relationship between communities, mining companies and the state, a relationship that has shaped South Africa’s modern history.
The question that Western Limb is asking, and beginning to answer, is:
What will the Rustenburg mining region be like in 20 to 30 years time when the Platinum Group Metals have been mined out and the mines have closed?
What will the communities be like?
What industries and job opportunities will there be?
What actions can we take now, to ensure a bright future for the Western Limb?
We know that these are big, complex questions. This is why Western Limb is tackling answering these questions from several angles.
There are three key areas that we are working on:
(1) community engagement
(2) academic research and publication
(3) recording and broadcasting performances and interviews
In future blog posts, we’ll look at what we are doing in each of these areas and why we believe that we are doing will change the future of the Western Limb region.