Journal Article


Strands of Struggle: Dealing with Health and Citizenship in the Aftermath of Asbestos Mining

Published on 8 October 2016

Asbestos mining is banned in many parts of theworld, and promoted in others. This article examines the effects of asbestos mining in South Africa, 30 years after the mines closed. Focusing on mining communities, it explores the political struggles that the communities have engaged in to address environmental threats, rehabilitate land, and secure compensation for their ill-health.

Drawing on the concept of ‘bio-citizenship’, and reviewing national policies introduced to protect South Africans against asbestos exposure, this article shows how different forms of compensation (for illness contracted during employment versus pollution and illness from residential proximity to asbestos mines) shape and inform degrees of belonging and of citizenship.


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Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Publication details

Waldman, L.
Journal of Southern African Studies, volume 42, issue 5


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