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Lonmin commits to Marikana housing plan after threats

A mine worker walks past Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, in Marikana. Picture: Waldo Swiegers

A mine worker walks past Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, in Marikana. Picture: Waldo Swiegers

Published Dec 12, 2016


Johannesburg – Lonmin Plc on Monday said it was currently reviewing its housing plan in line with the recommendations of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, saying that it was confident that it would submit a compliant plan.

This comes after the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) threatened to suspend or even cancel Lonmin's mining rights at Marikana near Rustenburg in North West if the company failed to provide a "compliant housing plan" for mineworkers.

In a statement, Lonmin said it had implemented a number of measures as part of its ongoing housing plan, including completing the conversion of all hostels into 1,908 single and 776 family units. The world's third platinum miner said it had fully complied with the Mining Charter as of December 2014.

"The company's revised housing plan was submitted to the Department of Mineral Resources in October 2014 as part of the Company's Social Labour Plans," Lonmin said.

"Following engagement with and directions provided by the DMR in September 2016 requiring certain revisions to Lonmin's housing plan, the company is currently reviewing its plan and is confident that it will submit a plan that is compliant."

On Sunday, the Presidency provided an update on steps taken by government departments to implement the Farlam Commission's recommendations.

The Presidency said the revised Social Labour Plan was broad and without clear timelines on building houses, and therefore was compelling the DMR to contemplate sterner measures as progress was slow.

But Lonmin defended itself, saying that its revised employee housing strategy, which included the construction of infill apartments, was the product of the continuing survey of employees' housing preferences.

"Lonmin has taken proactive steps to meet its obligations despite the unfavourable economic climate by including long-term, sustainable housing solutions in our capital expenditure budgets," Lonmin said.

"We continue to work on collaborative projects such as the Special Presidential Package to improve infrastructure and housing."

The apartments Lonmin is building for its mineworkers were not occupied as final touches were being done and would be allocated by January 2017. The next phase was in progress and should be finalised by the end of 2017.

African News Agency

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