World

Bloomberg

As China Reopens, Africa’s Woes Threaten to Starve Its Factories

(Bloomberg) — On a typical workday, hundreds of thousands of men clad in overalls and carrying safety equipment and head lamps assemble at South Africa’s mine shafts. They crowd into cramped elevators to be lowered miles underground, where they hack at seams of gold or platinum and haul ore in intense heat and humidity. After hours of backbreaking labor, they return to the surface to shower in communal areas, and many share meals and bed down in crowded hostels.These aren’t typical days.South Africa on March 26 imposed a three-week lockdown to fight the coronavirus, confining millions in their homes and shuttering most businesses—including the mines that are the first link in a global