011 02.06.2015 Dick forslund speak at the launch of Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC) reports seminar at human rights conference room in Constitutional Hills, Johannesburg. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Dineo Faku

THE Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has thrown its weight behind the Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC), which yesterday reported that Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, repatriated at least R400 million a year in profits to Bermuda between 1999 and 2012.

The union which has demanded a R12 500 minimum wage in the gold sector in current negotiations formed part at the launch in Johannesburg of the Cape Town-based AIDC report, The Bermuda Connection: Profit shifting, inequality and unaffordability at Lonmin 1999-2012. “The work done by the AIDC should not be taken lightly,” Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said.

Lonmin rubbished the claims saying it paid taxes fully in all jurisdictions.

“Lonmin hopes that AIDC stops making these baseless allegations,” the company said yesterday.

Tears

The AIDC report has estimated that the cost of profit shifting arrangements to workers, mining communities, empowerment shareholders in Lonmin’s subsidiaries and the South African Revenue Services amounted to R400 million a year. Dick Forslund, an economist at AIDC, said terminating the Bermuda profit shifting arrangement could have released between R3 500 to R4 000 extra a month for a rock drill operator wage.

“Collapsing the Bermuda arrangement and cutting back on fees to Lonmin Management Systems to a reasonable amount, would have allowed the Lonmin subsidiaries – the actual employers of Lonmin’s workers – to meet the 2012 rock drill operators demands for a basic wage of R12 500 after tax, even after allocating 28 percent of resources to meet their social labour plan commitments,” said the report.

Mathunjwa fought back tears as he reminisced about the events leading up to the police shooting at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in mid-August 2012.