Photojournalist Boxer Ngwenya recalls his assignment to the Primrose Gold Mine in Germiston in 2008.


It was 10 years ago, but sadly, the conditions in which the miners live under have not changed.

Apart from leading a wifeless existence, this picture essay captures the reality of the men who daily go underground to extract gold for the mining company.

With temperatures underground soaring to near boiling point, there is nothing as refreshing as a cold shower…as evident in their faces.

But there is no privacy here.

In order to relieve themselves the hard working miners have to do it in communal toilets – in full view of everyone.

You would think for the kind of job they do they need some “posturepedic” bed to lay their weary bodies.

Not so.

Mining management is still to concede the simple reality that you can’t feel your best if you don’t sleep your best.

They seem deliberately oblivious of the fact that to rest and recharge, you need a bed that gives your body the healthy support it needs to relax completely, freeing your muscles and spine from any tension.

But with mining being a man’s job and one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, a man (worker) has to do what a man got to do….


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