Coal in the Age of Corona South Africans Fight for Their Right to Breathe

Each year, thousands of South Africans die from the consequences of coal-fired power generation. The respiratory disease COVID-19 is exacerbating the country's health crisis.
Power plants, power lines and coal dust in the South African region of Mpumalanga

Power plants, power lines and coal dust in the South African region of Mpumalanga

Stefan Kleinowitz

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Shaun, 13, contracted bronchitis due to air pollution. He has to use an inhaler to breathe.

Shaun, 13, contracted bronchitis due to air pollution. He has to use an inhaler to breathe.

Stefan Kleinowitz
In Mpumalanga, there are hundreds of coal pits and illegal coal mines.

In Mpumalanga, there are hundreds of coal pits and illegal coal mines.

Stefan Kleinowitz
Miners are between 16 and 35 years old. For them, coal is often the only way to earn money.

Miners are between 16 and 35 years old. For them, coal is often the only way to earn money.

Stefan Kleinowitz
The activist Promise Mabilo is fighting for a cleaner and safer future.

The activist Promise Mabilo is fighting for a cleaner and safer future.

Stefan Kleinowitz
The district hospital is overburdened. Every day, countless people wait to be treated.

The district hospital is overburdened. Every day, countless people wait to be treated.

Stefan Kleinowitz
The Consequences of Coal Mining in South Africa
Stefan Kleinowitz
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The Consequences of Coal Mining in South Africa

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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