𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝟮𝟭 𝗔𝘂𝗴𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮.
Toxic black manganese dust, blasted from the iconic Kalahari Basin and trucked in vast amounts to the Gqebertha Port, it's a poison hidden in plain sight. This is a story of dividends, dust, and disease. South Africa is the world’s largest exporter of manganese, an abundant trace mineral found in the Northern Cape. It is a key component in paints, glass, dry-cell batteries, and steel. But exposure to high levels of manganese can cause serious health problems and environmental damage. From Hotazel to Gqeberha, we follow hundreds of trucks that travel up and down the Manganese Road and explore the research of the miners with Parkinsonian symptoms. We also meet a mine contractor who’s been diagnosed with Manganism. Down in the Eastern Cape, as the trucks come rumbling into town, smothering it in a layer of soot, locals are asking whether the growing manganese rush is making Nelson Mandela Bay and its people sick. Carte Blanche unpacks another possible case of profits before people and asks: why is everyone from politicians to models jumping on the manganese bandwagon?
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