„Were Lonmin Shootings preventable?“, asks John Capel from the Bench Marks Foundation in South Africa, an independent non-governmental organisation mandated by churches to monitor the practices of multi-national corporations.
Only two days before the clashes between miners and police forces at Lonmin´s Marikana mine in Rustenburg (16.8.2012) that left 34 people dead in one day, the Bench Marks Foundation published their Policy Gap no. 6.
In that report the Foundation highlighted the harmful social, economic and environmental impacts of mining activities on local communities. One of the companies in question was Lonmin, a London based mining company (GB0031192486).
Regarding Lonmin´s mines in Rustenburg area, the study found high levels of fatalities in the mines, very poor living conditions for miners, community demands for employment and educational opportunities and negative impacts of mining on commercial farming.
Most strikingly, these negative impacts have been ongoing for several years, since the Policy Gap no. 6 was an update of a research done five years ago. The Bench Marks Foundation summarized that nothing substantial had changed in the district since then and suggests that the increasing dissatisfaction of workers and communities is based on these unsolved conflicts.