The Social Justice Lens
The Social Justice Lens

The Marikana Files II

Presented by Sipho Singiswa this episode looks at the impact the mining companies have on the environment and people living around the Lonmin mining operations — with a particular emphasis on children. Community leader and activist Chris Molebatsi says that what the people want is respect from mine owners. If there was respect for the community there would be no problems.

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  • #FeesMustFall is unravelling SA’s founding pact
  • People of colour carry the burden of environmental racism in a post-racial era
  • Marikana: Moment of reckoning with whole extractive system
  • BASF, Lonmin and how the Marikana battle for justice is taken to Germany
    • Mr. Direct

      If you have not watched above clip, don’t waste your time. The conclusions are that the mining companies are guilty on the following:

      – Failing to provide infrastructure such as roads, houses, running water, and electricity to people living near the mines.
      – Failing to waterproof shanty huts (?)
      – Failing to set government policy on pollution levels (and possibly not policing themselves on this either, but that is not clearly stated).
      – Using land (stealing at will, using illegally, using their own?) to dump mining waste which destroys grazing land for cattle (does the land belong to the cattle farmers?).
      – Failing to set government policy on the policing of conflict of interest and bribery between government and the mining companies.
      – Failing to employ local residents rather than skilled mine workers from other areas.
      – Being responsible for the spread of HIV due to migrant workers having sex with migrant sex workers.
      – Failing to force municipalities to finish work they paid for through donations.

      And because there is no interviews with government or the mining companies, it is the word of Chris Molebatsi, or nothing.

    • Momma Cyndi

      Hopefully there is a part 3 which will bring a more balanced perspective?

      (those were very, VERY well fed Cosatu ladies dancing in the beginning)

    • http://zcommunications/zspace/selcool Dr Selim Y Gool

      I find that the slanderous attempt by “Mr Direct” to be offensive and disingenuous ….

      Yes, “the mining companies” are” guilty (as charged), Sir”, as any serious researcher of the mining industry like myself, or ALL mining investigations since the 1890s have found – thus the conclusion is as Mr Molebatsi concurs is that “THEY are responsible!”

      Only I would like to add that IF you only read Business Day, The Times Media and or The Financial Times,The Economist etc then your brain will be a little brain-washed too hey! But it is clear you are biased and have no real knowledge of the subject matter, Sir.

      So lets interview Cyril Ramaphosa and Co. too, no problemo and “grill them”.

    • Jack Sparrow

      I can see the problem from the presentation and the comments. The sides are so far apart and entrenched that sensible dialogue seems impossible. A bit like Israel and Palestine. I foresee more pain and suffering.

    • Mr. Direct

      @Dr Selim Y Gool

      No, I am no expert, and do not profess to be one. This discussion is in a public forum, if only experts were required to comment, then surely this article should be published in an expert forum instead.

      I expect the intention of this piece to enlighten the general population to what the mining companies are doing wrong. I comment on the fact that this documentary falls horribly short of the mark in this regard to anyone with half a brain..

      I expect government to create legislation to enforce companies to do what they are supposed to do in regard to pollution, employee wellbeing and safety, social standards, etc. If government deems the companies have failed to comply to regulation, then they should be held to account according to the laws of the country, and punished on that basis.

      Perhaps the next documentary should describe how the mining companies are breaking the law. Perhaps they municipality should be confronted about fraud, failed projects, lack of regulatory controls, etc. Perhaps Government officials could be interviewed about how unemployment is being tackled to give people employment choices. This would be some investigative journalism that people would be interested in (at least I would be).

      So, in my so called slanderous and offensive opinion, a poorly produced documentary with a one sided point of view is not going to convince anyone of anything.

    • The Social Justice Lens

      This column serves to bring voices of those affected by bad governance and lack of corporate accountability into the discussion. The voices of the poor are seldom heard. There is a gaping hole in the way in which these stories are presented to the world via mainstream media – and to bring the voices, opinions, aspirations and narratives of those living the reality of human rights transgressions into the public sphere is the point of media for justice. In our overall documentary we will do the analysis – interview the ‘spindoctors’ who will churn out the same responses that they dish out to media. This is an insert and an interview – and does not claim to be a documentary.

    • David van Wyk

      I would like to thank the producers of the Marikana Files for giving voice to the voiceless. The chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Mining in Parliament said after a presentation of the Bench marks Foundation in 2012: “It is an indictment on the mining sector that one has to travel through a sea of poverty before reaching any mine in this country.”
      The huge gap between the GDP contribution of mining at 8.7% of GDP and total exports at 60%, is an indication that more is taken out of the country than what is put into it. Finally mining corporations spend tens of millions of Rands in advertising and publicity to put their side of the story, it is about time that someone gives voice to the voiceless so as to balance the very unequal and pro mining biased public perceptions in this country.