Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The ANC has admitted that the tragic events of Marikana seven years ago remains a blight on the country, and wants the government to speed up the programme to uplift the families of the victims.

In a statement on Friday, to mark the seventh anniversary of the Marikana tragedy, the ANC said it recognised the tragedy happened under its watch.

It said the government would need to improve the conditions of miners and families of those who died there seven years ago.

“As the ruling party of South Africa we acknowledge that the Marikana tragedy occurred on our watch and we shall never shirk in our duty nor hide behind platitudes to recognise that it did,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe. 

“South Africans can take solace that since the tragic events of that period industrial relations in the mining sector have improved,” said Mabe.

But the opposition and Saftu have said the situation has not improved for the miners in the sector.

They said the government has failed the people and victims of those who died.

The mining sector is one of the industries that has been crippled by job losses in the past few years with thousands of people joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Mabe said the government will need to move with speed in addressing the plight of the families of the victims.

“We reiterate our call to government to move with speed in implementing programmes that seek to alleviate the plight of the affected families and to ensure that conditions that led to this tragedy are addressed,” said Mabe.

He added that they will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that this was achieved.

Political Bureau