Lonmin blames market for housing failures
By Tunicia Phillips
Lonmin CEO Ben Magara has attributed his company’s failure to meet its legally binding commitment to housing in Marikana on market factors.
Speaking to KayaNews at the fourth commemoration of the Marikana massacre in the north west – Magara sort to highlight developments in Lonmin’s housing plans so far.
Magara was responding to a damning report released by Amnesty International – which has revealed that despite the Marikana Commission’s recommendations to meet its 2006 housing plans – the company had only built 3 in ten years.
(Video courtesy of Amnesty International)
“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,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa.
“Lonmin is playing a very dangerous game in making promises it has no intention of honouring,” Muchena said.
“Its shocking admission that it has no intention of fulfilling its legal obligation under the SLP flies in the face of South African law in addition to well-accepted international standards on business and human rights.”
The Marikana commission of enquiry’s findings criticized Lonmin’s failure to implement its Social and Labour Plan which committed to build 5 500 houses for un-accomodated miners.
The Commission concluded that housing conditions for much of Lonmin’s workforce were extremely poor and “created an environment conducive to the creation of tension, labour unrest and disunity among its employees or other harmful conduct”.
Lonmin’s legally binding commitment to build 5 500 houses since 2006 was already in breach when 34 striking miners were killed in 2012.
Speaking to KayaNews at the fourth commemoration of the death of the miners in Marikana yesterday, Magara said there are always market conditions that dictate what you can and cannot do.
“Since that report we interacted with DMR (Department of Mineral Resources) on an annual basis.
“If markets improve, we can do more, if markets reduce we can do less we,” he said.