It is projected that if the economy does not improve within the next two years, more than half a million mineworkers in the region will lose their jobs. It is estimated that more than 25% of mineworkers are HIV positive. Only two countries reviewed in the study have sufficient reserves to deal with a long-term recession.
This study is, firstly, to provide an overview of the mining sector in the region, and the social consequences of the downturn in this sector over the last quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009. It is, secondly, to profile the mining industries in each of the following countries: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Views of affected parties are included, and an outline is provided of the national socio-economic and political consequences of the global financial crisis on this industry in each of the eight countries. The current economic situation has left few industries untouched and mining worldwide (and in Southern Africa in particular) has been severely affected. The boom which came with an increase in the price of oil and minerals was interrupted in the last quarter of 2008. A reverse in price has seen a decrease in fiscal resources for treasuries in Southern Africa. This has started to impact on social delivery for central and local governments. It is estimated that the impact will be felt much more acutely in 2009.