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Examining the Plight of the “Zama Zamas” in South Africa

gold-mine-landscape-3From Mark Olalde for The Star, a four-part series that introduce us to illegal miners, or zama zamas as they are called in South Africa, who live and work mostly in the shadows and outskirts of a lucrative industry. When one gold mine was abandoned, so were hundreds of miners and toxic dumps. Improperly closed mines pose problems. In his closing piece, Olalde answers key questions about how South Africa’s “El Dorado” became an “underground Wild West.”

Photo credit: Mark Olalde