South Africa: Wedela - a North West Mining Community Afraid of COVID-19 and Hunger


As AngloGold Ashanti battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak at its Mponeng Mine in North West, residents of Wedela, an area close to the mine, have expressed their fear over the potential spread of the virus into the community.

The streets of Wedela in North West are relatively quiet except for a couple of people walking down the road. A team of security officers are on patrol while a taxi gets washed at a local rank. At a tuckshop, a sign is displayed, advertising herbal male enhancing supplements, but there are no customers today. January, the owner, stands outside. His English is limited and he is unable to give his last name, but this does not prevent him from telling Daily Maverick that he fears Covid-19.

A sign advertising herbal male enhancement supplements behind store owner January. January with his limited English is still able to get his message across -- and that is his fear of the virus. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Wedela is a small mining community surrounded by some of the richest mines in the world, including the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Mine. It's at this mine where more than 164 miners have tested positive for Covid-19, leading to...

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