The Right Reverend Dr Johannes Seoka will be joining international solidarity groups in London, 26 January, to demand the UK miner Lonmin, meets its commitments for victim compensation and improved worker living conditions before the Marikana massacre’s 5 year anniversary.
Critics argue that Lonmin has failed to provide compensation to victims and improve the living standards of mine workers, which was at the core of the labour dispute in which police opened fire on mine workers in 2012.
The vast majority of the Marikana workforce still live in informal settlements and lack drinking water, basic sanitation or electricity.
The 16 August will mark the five year anniversary of the police massacre which killed 34 miners in 2012.
Reverend Seoka explained that his attendance at Lonmin AGM would be to expose the lie, that Lonmin has fulfilled its obligations of meeting workers’ housing needs, improving their living conditions, and implementing a living wage.
Seoka said, “Investors have had more than four years to ensure ethical practices are being followed in their investments, but have failed to do so. We will not rest until justice is achieved for the massacred, injured, arrested and the widows and orphans left behind.
“‘We call on investors at the Lonmin AGM to take a resolution to compel the company to address demands and to set a time limit of August 16th 2017 to comply. Should this not happen, we will call for international solidarity to have Lonmin’s mining license revoked, as per President Jacob Zuma’s statement in December 2016.”
These demands include that Lonmin;
- Take steps to implement a living wage for mine workers of 12,500 Rand/month
- Comprehensively address the housing needs of workers, as 33 000 Lonmin workers live in shacks without access to electricity, basic sanitation services, or regular drinking water. Lonmin must address the housing needs in consultation with the workers, including subsidised rental accommodation and improved conditions in the informal settlements,
- Compensate the victims of the massacre to allow the widows, orphans and injured survivors a dignified existence. Bench Marks Foundation argues that such compensation be in the region of 20 years’ wages that workers would have earned had they not been killed or critically injured exercising their right to organise.
Though charges were laid against several South African police force members and the South African government announced compensation to be paid to victim’s families in December 2016, Lonmin has thus far remained largely unaccountable for their actions, or lack thereof, during August 2012.
Reverend Seoka, of South Africa’s Bench Mark Foundation will be accompanied by Barbara Mueller and Markus Dufner from the international Plough Back the Fruits network.
The protest has been jointly organised by Marikana Miners Solidarity Group, Plough Back the Fruits, London Mining Network and the Bench Marks Foundation.