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Mmaditlhokwa Township

Mmaditlhokwa Township

  • Author: Ilan_Pomegranite
  • Date Posted: Nov 9, 2017
  • Category:

As the day draws to a close, young men gather on the mine dumps that overlook the community of Mmaditlhokwa Township, Marikana. New friendships are formed and fervent discussion is at times interrupted by the sudden deafening shudder of explosives being detonated on the horizon. An open cast pit known as the “Western Pit” lies precariously close to human habitation, bringing with it noise pollution and an overbearing cloud of dust with every bang. Depending on the direction of the wind, toxic fumes often engulf the community.

Mmaditlhokwa Township, Marikana, North West, Western Limb

Mmaditlhokwa Township, Marikana, North West, Western Limb

Not long ago, Spruitfontein was a small agrarian village where farmers and farm labourers alike benefitted from the rich arable surrounds and abundant grazing land. Things began to change in 2008, with the purchase of the farm by Tharisa Minerals. Homes were demolished, families relocated and the soil churned in search of platinum-rich deposits deep underground. Today, everybody is a stranger in Mmaditlhokwa Township. Some remember what life was like in these parts before the mines but even the “old-timers” have resigned themselves to their new home. Across a sprawling bare and dusty landscape, new shelters continue to pop up daily – two-room zinc houses glinting under the harsh Limpopo sun, the luxuriant vegetation and shade that once existed here now consigned to memory.

For those travelling from far and wide across Southern Africa, the road to Rustenburg is the chance to make one’s fortune in a place of opportunity and wealth. Young and old journey from as far as Lesotho, the Free State, Lethabong, Miriting and Taung, gradually acclimatising to a more dreary reality, their hopes buried deep in the ground, their reliance on the mine absolute.

Mmaditlhokwa Township, Marikana, North West, Western Limb

Mmaditlhokwa Township, Marikana, North West, Western Limb

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