Jozi GoldFredrik Gertten, Sylvia Vollenhoven, 74 min, South Africa, Sweden, Norway.
Grandmother and environmental activist Mariette Liefferink is up against the richest mining corporations in Africa. The golden era has left 1,6 million people living on radioactive grounds, but she is on a mission to force the gold industry to clean up.
Jozi Gold exposes Johannesburg mines to not be so golden after all. It paints a grim environmental and political picture of South Africa’s abandoned mines which are in disarray, with toxicity levels that are harming communities. The documentary follows Mariette Liefferink, an advisory committee member of the South African Human Rights Commission, as she tries to pressure government and mining companies to confront and fix what they’re responsible for and continue to let occur – acid mine drainage, contamination of cattle and human health, radioactive land and not informing the public of these risks. Her efforts reveal many mining companies’ indifference to the lives they’ve affected while contrasting with the ordinary South Africans who are desperately trying to make a difference- but as Mariette says, “The wheels of justice turn slow.”