|Gold is an important component in the South African economic system and has been instrumental in helping South Africa develop into an industrialized nation in this century. It is also an important industry that has helped support the system of apartheid as a way of preserving a pliable and cheap labor force.
Gold and diamonds are the best-known and historically most important minerals mined in South Africa, though there are others, including copper, iron ore, manganese, asbestos, chromium, silver, beryllium, antimony, tin, and platinum. Gold remains the most important mineral in the country, and the spectacular rise in the price of gold in the 1970s allowed gold revenues in South Africa to increase dramatically, though prices have subsequently declined. Gold accounts for more than half the total mineral sales for the nation, and it is produced in three