MODELLING THE IMPACT OF MINING ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT - A SYSTEM DYNAMICS APPROACH

George Maluleke, Leon Pretorius

Abstract


The contribution of mining activities to social infrastructure and human development is a complex socio-economic development issue in South Africa. Complexity theory has introduced a new approach to solving problems in social systems, recognising them as complex systems. The socio-economic development system in South Africa falls into this category of complex systems. Analysing such a system requires that a number of feedback loops and details about the issues be analysed simultaneously. This level of complexity is above a human’s ability to comprehend without the aid of tools such as systems thinking and system dynamics. The causality between investment in infrastructure capacity and socio-economic development is dynamic. The relationship is influenced by exogenous feedback that, if not managed, is likely to reverse itself. This paper presents the results of a system dynamics modelling of the relationship, based on the principle of relative attractiveness developed in previous system dynamics research. A Monte Carlo analysis is used to determine the sensitivity of the system to changes in feedback. The paper concludes that the limits to growth in a socio-economic environment are determined by more factors than the availability of capital, and also include land capacity constraints and skills shortage. 


Keywords


Relative Attractiveness;Beneficiation;Socio-economic Development;System Dynamics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7166/27-4-1133

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ISSN 2224-7890 (on-line) ; ISSN 1012-277X (print)


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