In honour of the 44 people who lost their lives near the Marikana mine during protest action in August 2012, Sibanye-Stillwater has actioned a way forward that supports healing, more inclusive engagement and, ultimately, renewal beyond the tragedy of Marikana’s past.
“[Since the acquisition of the Marikana operation from Lonmin in June 2019], we have been given an opportunity and responsibility to create a new future at Marikana by delivering on our purpose of improving lives through responsible mining. We strongly believe in this and seek to live by it wherever we operate. It is our hope that through delivering tangible and sustainable programmes for the benefit of local communities around Marikana, a new legacy of healing and hope will emerge,” says Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman.
He says that through the Marikana Renewal programme, a multi-stakeholder, collaborative facilitated process to co-create a sustainable and positive future at Marikana, the respective stakeholders have the ability to develop a new vision of where we want to be and work towards achieving that.
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Speaking at a the launch of the Marikana Renewal process, Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, who is the patron of the Marikana Renewal process, says that as we approach the 10-year anniversary of the tragic incident, we need to recognise that those most affected by the devastating effects of Marikana will continue to need their pain to be acknowledged, they will continue to need help and support to move on with their lives, and to that end, all the partners in the process need to genuinely to want to be part of the solution, he says.
The vision of creating a new legacy of healing and hope is built on three strategic pillars. Firstly, honouring the lives that were lost and support those for whom the loss was the greatest. Secondly, engagement and the rebuilding of trust with community stakeholders by formalising a social compact, which prioritises mutually respectful relationships to help develop a more trusting relationship. Lastly, creating socio-economic value in a responsible way.
“Being a good neighbour is part of our social and economic compact with the communities and at the heart of this renewal programme is a commitment to invest in and sustain our operations, our people and our communities. Our efforts towards economic restoration and growth requires cross-sector collaboration and can only be achieved by identifying and unlocking opportunities for district-wide economic programmes,” says Froneman.
In doing so, Sibanye-Stillwater has restored the Marikana operation to profitability and committed to invest R3.9 billion in the K4 Project, which would extend the life of the operation by 50 years and create 4 400 direct jobs. If we as stakeholders continue to nurture our mineral resources, we can ensure that fair value is created from these that would positively impact on the local economy and ensure sustainability, he says.
But without betting on its mineral resources alone, Sibanye-Stillwater is in the process of nurturing other activities that are sustainable even once mining ceases, such as large scale industrial agriculture and the creation of SMMEs – ensuring that parallel industries are created.
In closing, Archbishop Makgoba said that a community that is united, has found healing and is working at restoring itself, and gearing itself up for greater heights.