There’s gold in our veins
I was born and raised in a town called Carletonville. The area is home to the world’s deepest gold mine. Around fifty percent of all the gold ever mined by humans has come out of the ground in this region.
Most of my family settled in a town called Germiston when they arrived in South Africa. Germiston is about 90km east of Carletonville and is home to the Rand Refinery, which has produced more bars of refined gold than anywhere else on the planet.
Back in the early 1900’s, gold mining wasn’t a prospector’s game like the California gold rush. Most immigrants who arrived here to seek their fortune on the gold fields didn’t strike it rich by finding prize nuggets. Mines were run by companies that grew into large corporations. However, the gold mining industry and the burgeoning city of Johannesburg that grew up around it at least provided these immigrants a chance at upward mobility from the factory-class lives they’d lived in Europe.
That opportunity is the reason most of my family came to South Africa and so in a way I credit gold-mining for my own existence.
Just like that rock, this family has gold in its veins.