WIT Press

Environmental Management Complexities And Rumours Impeding The Effective Application Of Scientific Research And Results To Address Possible Health Risks In The West Rand Gold Mining Region Of South Africa


Free (open access)





Page Range

195 - 212




652 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


E. S. van Eeden, E. J. Nealer & M. Liefferink


Gold mining in South Africa has been taking place since the late 19th Century. This activity has produced a wealth of richness for the country, but also has contributed to create environmentally destructed environments. The West Rand Municipal region is the area of focus in this paper. Possible negative environmental health outcome scenarios in especially the pollution of the area’s water resources – have been speculated on in scientific reports and in occasional whistle blowing efforts. Some include official reports with regard to a radioactive contamination of the physical and man-changed environment; nonradioactive chemicals found in the residues and wastes produced by gold mining; radon gas and windblown dust. Primarily because of whistle blowing efforts, as based on scientific reports, concerns regarding human health became more intense. The paper mainly provides a concise historiography regarding the close to 100 years of environmental research by especially scientists on the West Rand region, and references to possible health risks. In conclusion ideas will be exchanged on current environmental remedial actions with a motivation for definite health related research to support environmental remedial processes. Keywords: environmental health, environmental management, research, scientist, West Rand, environmental remediation, water pollution.


environmental health, environmental management, research,scientist, West Rand, environmental remediation, water pollution