The Mining Forum of South Africa, or MFSA, an organisation that seeks to be an agent of transformation in the mining industry of South Africa, has rejected recommendations made by the Competition Commission of South Africa to the Competition Tribunal to approve the merger between Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin.
MFSA president Blessings Ramoba notes the forum lodged and filed a complaint with the Commission in March earlier this year raising a number of issues that this merger is posing - ranging from the number of retrenchments that will follow, the merger itself not being transformational and not disclosing how the communities and workers are going to be catered as well as Lonmin’s non-compliance to SLPs.
This appears to be misinformed however considering Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman has on several occasions outlined how the acquisition will in fact be saving jobs through more sustainable business model than Lonmin currently employs.
“It is important to note that the Commission’s decision is simply a recommendation to the Commission Tribunal and final decision still has to be taken by the Tribunal. The MFSA rejects the recommendation made by the commission in that the it failed to conduct a detailed proper due diligence investigation to an extent that they asked the Forum if Lonmin complies with its SLPs or not,” says Ramoba.
The Tribunal hearing
The MFSA is invited to the Tribunal hearing to present its arguments on the decision of the proposed merger and make its presentation regarding its concerns before the Tribunal on 2 October 2018.
Lonmin SLPs is at the centre of the issue in Court which the MFSA has taken the DMR to the task. “We have managed to set the matter down for hearing on 26 October 2018.”
“The MFSA suggested (in our submission) that the Commission rather wait for the outcome of the matter to be decided by the Courts. The Commission seems to not appreciate the fact that the matter that has been brought by the MFSA will set precedence and will actually provide some indication to the Commission on how to deal with the issue of the SLPs in view of the history of non-compliance by Lonmin and lack of enforcement by the DMR.
“Our augment on the case is that Lonmin does not have an operating licence due to the company’s SLPs non-compliance (2014 Sep to 2018 Sep period), therefore Lonmin cannot sell or pass its assets to another entity before it fulfils the SLPs requirements. As the MFSA, we believe that this is good a time as any for the MPRDA Act be tested in the court of Law.”