Tags: Bill Gates | Wellcome trust | South Africa | Mining

Gates Foundation Profits From Controversial South African Mines

By Friday, 29 May 2015 03:17 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In case you missed what drives South Africa’s economy, it’s the mining industry.

But as is usual with any dangerous industry, there are the large-scale health and social issues that come with it. Thankfully there are organizations that work to address the health issues in mining areas. Here’s a paradox that’s not quite so well-known: The philanthropic organizations that sometimes commit to solving associated problems are also some of the biggest investors in the problems that cause them.

The Guardian released a report explaining that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome trust — responsible for saving countless lives through scientific research and healthcare programs — are also heavily invested in fossil fuel industries that have profound impacts on the health of local communities.

Both organizations are invested in the Rio Tinto mines, where employees and nearby residents complain that crowded mine shafts and dust pollution cause a host of respiratory diseases including silicosis, tuberculosis, and lung cancer. Locals who contract these diseases are directed to clinics and hospitals that are supported by the Africa Centre — whose primary donors include the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation.

On the one hand these organizations are providing aid to people who desperately need it. On the other, they are making money off of the mines that bring about disease and destroy communities and the natural landscape.

This is an ethical debate with many arguments but one would find it hard to believe that either of these foundations truly believes in improving the lives of impoverished and ailing people when they are reaping the rewards of inflicting harm on them. If the Gates Foundation, and others like it, truly wants to impact the locals, maybe an investment in crucial safeguards is in order.

Matthew Klynsmith earned a business administration diploma at CTI in Cape Town, South Africa. He now works at Strategic Options as an associate partner. To read more reports from Matthew Klynsmith, Go Here Now.

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These organizations are providing aid to people who desperately need it but they are also making money off of the mines that bring about disease and destroy communities.
Bill Gates, Wellcome trust, South Africa, Mining
Friday, 29 May 2015 03:17 PM
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