Miners want to live in shacks not houses - Lonmin spokesperson

2016-08-18 06:13
Picture: Leon Sadiki

Picture: Leon Sadiki

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – Miners at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana do not want houses; they want to live in informal settlements, mine spokesperson Sue Vey told News24. 

Vey was responding to a damning report by Amnesty International detailing how Lonmin was still failing to provide adequate housing for its workforce in Marikana.

The report, titled Smoke and Mirrors: Lonmin's failure to address housing conditions at Marikana, indicated how conditions had not changed for the approximately 20 000 miners working for Lonmin at Marikana. Many were still living in squalor despite the company's legally binding commitments to build more houses.

Vey however said part of the reason the company had not built adequate housing was because "miners chose to live in informal settlements".

"We have learnt our employees don't want houses. They want to go back to their home countries and province... They choose to live in informal settlements," she said.

Vey also cited the mines financial difficulties and the economic downturn as some of the reasons it was not able to fulfil its promises to the miners. 

She said the mine had provided hostels for some miners while some employees are given a living allowance. "They have a choice to live in a converted hostel or rent a room," Vey told News24. 

Lonmin CEO Ben Magara admitted to the crowd who had gathered for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (Amcu) Marikana commemoration on Tuesday that living conditions for its employees "should be better".

Broken promises

He assured miners that the mine was working towards making the situation better.

Nosakhe Nokhamba, a widow of one of the slain miners, said the conditions they were living under were deplorable. 

She told the crowds that the mine had not fulfilled all its promises to the Marikana massacre victims' families.

According to the report, in 2012 thousands of Lonmin employees were living in squalor in informal settlements around the mine at Marikana. In 2006, the company had committed to building 5 500 houses for workers and upgrade the single-sex, barracks-style hostel accommodation into family or bachelor units by 2011. By 2011 however, it had only built three show houses and converted just 60 out of 114 hostels.

On August 16, 2012, police shot dead 34 striking Lonmin miners, apparently in an attempt to disperse them and end their industrial action. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

Zuma subsequently established a commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, to look into the matter. It found that no senior government officials, including Lonmin non-executive board member Cyril Ramaphosa, were responsible for the shooting. It however recommended a probe into suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega's fitness to hold office.

Zuma suspended Phiyega in October last year.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  johannesburg  |  marikana

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.