Join with Amnesty International to take action for Lonmin’s employees
In August 2012, 44 people died in events leading up to and during a strike by mineworkers at Lonmin mine, Marikana, South Africa. These included 34 striking mineworkers killed by the South African Police Service, who had been called to put an end to the strike.
A commission of inquiry set up by the South African government to investigate the deaths concluded that inadequate living conditions for mine workers at Marikana contributed to the terrible events of 2012. Thousands of Lonmin employees were living in squalor in informal settlements around the mine, without access to electricity, running water or sanitation.
Amnesty International’s efforts
Lonmin was well aware of the situation and had committed to construct 5,500 houses for workers by 2011. By 2012 it had built just three. During the commission, Lonmin conceded that the living conditions in Nkaneng and other informal settlements around the mine were “truly appalling”. Four years later, little has changed. Many of the approximately 20,000 miners still live in bleak informal settlements, despite a legally binding commitment from Lonmin to build more houses.
“The catastrophic events of August 2012 should have been a decisive wake-up call to Lonmin that it must address these truly appalling living conditions. The company’s failure to improve employees’ housing is baffling and irresponsible in the extreme. Lonmin is aware that dire housing contributed to the unrest four years ago that ultimately led to the death of dozens of miners.” – Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for Southern Africa
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How you can help
Amnesty International is calling for the South African Ministry of Mineral Resources to investigate and consider sanctioning the company. Join with them and tell Lonmin to fulfil its legal obligations and to ensure that living conditions for mine workers and their families are improved.
“We are calling on you to
- Develop a proposal to address the appalling housing conditions for employees in Marikana.
- Publish all reports made to the Department of Mineral Resources since 2006 and commit to publishing all future reports.
- Develop proposals, in consultation with all affected people and local municipalities, to upgrade to upgrade informal settlements on Lonmin Mine licence areas and improve access to essential services such as water, sanitation and electricity.”