By Rebecca Davis25 Oct 2017

South Africa's economy, the largest in Africa, was built off the back of the mining industry. But South African mining has a darker legacy: an epidemic of disease among former mineworkers, developed in the course of their work underground. In this Daily Maverick multimedia investigation, we take an in-depth look at one of the thorniest health issues in our country's history.



Text, Direction & Research: Rebecca Davis | Production, Design & Multimedia: Diana Neille | Video: Pascale Neuschäfer | Photography: Thapelo Lekgowa, Siphiwe Sibeko & Reuters | Voicing & Narration: Sizo Mhlangu |Website development: Realm Digital |Project Management: Styli Charalambous | Editor: Branko Brkic |

Special thanks: Paula Akugizibwe, Zanele Mbuyisa, Peter Verweij


This feature was produced with the support of the African Media Initiative and The African Story Challenge


MAIN IMAGE: Mine workers are seen underground in Modderfontein east mine, outside Johannesburg, February 3, 2009. South Africa’s junior miner Aflease Gold said on Tuesday it aims to produce 500,000 ounces of the precious metal per year in five years based on the company’s current assets. Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

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"There are friends one makes at a youthful age in whom one simply rejoices; for whom one possesses a love and loyalty mysteriously lacking in the friendships made in after-years no matter how genuine." ~ William Styron