Lonmin has introduced a community grievance mechanism – a mechanism which has received input from all affected stakeholders over many months of planning and research and constitutes, what the company believes, is best practice.
The mechanism known as Buang Le Rona/Thetha Nathi – meaning ‘Talk to Us’ in English – kicked off last year with a pilot project and EVP: Stakeholder Engagement and Regulatory Affairs, Thandeka Ncube expressed her excitement to be launching a full-service grievance system.
The aim of the system is to improve two-way communication and the resolution of grievance within the Greater Lonmin communities.
“The system came about as a result of the introduction of an internal policy based on global best practice and international principles offering our communities” explained Ncube.
“We made it a point to ensure that grievances and conflicts are mediated in a transparent and fair manner, and most importantly, this system will be able to track the progress of a grievance until it is resolved by the responsible stakeholder, whether an internal Lonmin department or an external stakeholder,” continued Ncube.
To ensure maximum impact and awareness of the mechanism, Lonmin has invested in an awareness drive which will educate community members and employees on how they can access the system and lay a grievance.
Campaign elements include posters and comment boxes at shafts and Lonmin owned or sponsored community facilities, pamphlets at high foot traffic areas in the Greater Lonmin community, posters, feedback forms and comment boxes at local retailers, police stations and radio stations, as well as outdoor branding on buses, bus shelters and billboards.
The system also affords the community the opportunity to lay a grievance at face-to- face meetings with the Lonmin stakeholder team at their scheduled engagements, a hotline staffed by consultants who are conversant in IsiXhosa, Setswana and English, comments/suggestion boxes in the community and through letters that can be delivered by hand or emailed to the Lonmin community office.
Comment boxes will be emptied once a week and the comments will be loaded onto a grievance Isometrix system, which is an internal online system that will be used to track and monitor progress to resolve grievances received.
“The system is only as good as the people who use it, and we hope that through the mechanism in place, Lonmin will be able resolve issues speedily.” concludes Ncube.