Following the release of the Marikana Report by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on Thursday evening, Lonmin released a statement in which its CEO Ben Magara said “[the report] is a milestone on the road to ensuring that such an event never, ever happens again in this country.”
Magara, who is grateful for the enormous effort by so many people which made the Report possible, also said that Lonmin has worked hard over the past two-and-a-half year years to build a more open, transparent and mutually trustworthy environment, and in the process make Lonmin a safer, better place to work.
“We have placed particular emphasis on living conditions and employee indebtedness, two burning issues that we believe will make a profound impact on the wellbeing of our employees. Much work has been done in this regard.
“This is in addition to the assistance rendered to the widows and children of the employees who died during that fateful week. While we can never replace their loved ones, we have offered employment opportunities to their families and every child of school going age is a beneficiary of the 1608 Education Trust. This is in addition to the statutory pay-outs from pension and life funds, Magara said.
Lonmin said that the release of the report by President Jacob Zuma is a vital step in the healing process after the tragedy of Marikana, in which 46 people died between 9 and 16 August 2012.
While delivering the key finding of the report, Zuma said the Commission found that Lonmin did not use its best endeavours to resolve the disputes that arose between itself and its workers and also did not respond appropriately to the threat of‚ and the outbreak of violence.
The report findings also found the unions, NUM and AMCU, ineffective.
Magara said that while Lonmin gave its full support to the Commission, its findings will need detailed consideration before the company takes further action and before its provides its considered responses.
“We as a company have already moved a long way towards building a more open, transparent and mutually trusting environment. I cannot say that we have fully achieved this yet, but I can say that we have made progress, and we will continue to do so in conjunction with other stakeholders,” Magara said.