Sibanye-Stillwater hosted the second annual Marikana Memorial Lecture since it acquired Lonmin in June 2019 during August. The event is hosted annually to commemorate the tragic events of 16 August 2012 in which 34 striking miners were killed by South African Police.
The annual lecture is part of the Group’s commitment to collaborate with all stakeholders to co-create a shared vision and to create a platform for dialogue, debate and thought leadership in the Marikana community. The lecture is the culmination of a week of activities held at and around Marikana, in observing and honouring the past and engaging on a way forward, and forms part of the long-term Marikana Renewal process.
“We convene under extraordinary circumstances to honour those who perished on the tragic day, the 16th August 2012. It is worthy of note and regrettable that government officially participates in the commemoration of this tragic event for the first time after nine years,” said Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe.
Honour, Engage and Create
Launched in 2020 under the themes of Honour, Engage and Create, the Marikana renewal process acknowledges the impact of the tragic events of 2012, and calls on all stakeholders to work together to rebuild relationships and co-create a better future for Marikana.
In her address, keynote speaker, Dr Mamphela Ramphele noted, “We are here today to celebrate the lives of those who were caught up in the events of that fateful day. Their courage to challenge what they regarded as an unsustainable business model that excluded them from sharing the value they have contributed to, has triggered the transformation process we are witnessing today. The lessons learnt from that challenge and its tragic consequences are beginning to bear fruit.”
Dr Ramphele shared some of the key lessons that have emerged and are emerging from the conversations inside and outside the company. “The mining industry in South Africa would have a brighter future if it were to embrace this wisdom and transform its operations from extractive models towards regenerative ones. Regenerative models open spaces for all participants and are essential for all to bring their best into the collaborative work to generate shared prosperity.
“Imagine a transformed institutional culture that affirms the dignity of all and celebrates the diverse contributions each participant brings to the party. Imagine the rise in energy levels that would be unleashed. Imagine the growing trust levels that would encourage all to share their ideas because they would know that each one of them matters and they are better together. Imagine what creativity would be unleashed when each participant is confident that they would share in the additional value they could bring to the institution!
“The transition from the traditional colonial extractive mining model would require investments in transformative processes to bring people along into a future that would be better than the past and present. Such a transition requires healing of the wounds of past models.”
Ripple of hope
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said, “As a company, we have engaged fully in this anniversary week of the 2012 Marikana tragedy, acknowledging and honoring our past but also looking forward to plan the future we wish to see for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.” He added that in moving forward, all parties – whether it the company, the state, employees or communities – need to bring their best selves to the party to contribute equally to a socio-economic compact that uplifts lives and unlocks possibilities.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, returning for the second year said, “Let us, today, commit once more and continuously to create the numberless ripples of hope we need to build the South Africa we want to see. A South Africa where all people live with dignity in peace and are able to flourish. A South Africa where our differences are spoken about, where we address our challenges together. Building side by side rather than facing each other in conflict. A South Africa where our collective spirits and focus allows each person to travel their own path but towards a common good.”
Froneman believed that the events in 2012 could have been avoided with true leadership from all stakeholders. “It is this lack of leadership that Sibanye-Stillwater will not be part of and we will take – and have taken up – our rightful place ensuring that we make a difference in the national interest.”