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Lonmin 'has not met obligations'

Johannesburg - Platinum producer Lonmin has not met its obligations under the mining charter, according to a report on recent violence at its mine in Marikana, North West.

“While Lonmin signed an agreement with the World Bank's IFC - International Finance Corporation - in 2007 to develop the local community, residents said they saw very few changes in the area,” the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) concluded.

File picture - An unidentified mine worker sits on a rock at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP. Credit: AP

The document was released at a discussion hosted by the CSVR and the SA Human Rights Commission in Johannesburg on Friday.

CSVR director Delphine Serumaga said the centre went on a fact-finding mission to Marikana to investigate the causes of the recent violence and explore possible interventions.

“It appears that Lonmin has not met its obligations it agreed to with the International Finance Corporation.”

On August 16, 34 workers were shot dead and 78 wounded when police tried to disperse strikers at the mine. Another 10 people were killed the preceding week in violent protests.

According to the report Lonmin's responsibility in the lead-up to the shooting had not been explored and analysed to date.

Those interviewed expressed anger at their lack of infrastructure, housing and sanitation, the large salaries of Lonmin's management, and the company's “significant” profits for the past 15 years.

Questions lingered about the company's role in developing the local community. Those interviewed lived in poor conditions and had little long-term job security, with few prospects of improving their living standards.

Sapa

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