Communities in the platinum minefields: a review of platinum mining in the Bojanala District of North West Province, a participatory action research approach. (August 2012)

Communities in the platinum minefields: a review of platinum mining in the Bojanala District of North West Province, a participatory action research approach. (August 2012)
Communities in the Platinum Minefields
A Review of Platinum Mining in the Bojanala District of the
North West Province:
A Participatory Action Research (PAR) Approach
The Bench Marks Foundation
The research was commissioned by the Bench Marks Foundation, and was conducted
by: David van Wyk, Mudjadji Trading (Pty) Ltd in collaboration with the Bench Marks
Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at the North-West University, Potchefstroom
Campus, and the Bench Marks Community Monitoring School.
The Bench Marks Foundation
PO Box 62538
Marshalltown 2107
South Africa
Tel/Fax: +27 11 832-1750
Tel: +27 11 832-1743/2
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................. i
The Bench Marks Foundation ............................................................................................ ii
Foreword ............................................................................................................................ iii
Preface ................................................................................................................................. v
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................... vi
Contextualised Quotes ...................................................................................................... ix
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 1
Background ............................................................................................................. 1
Objectives................................................................................................................ 3
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ................................................................................... 4
Research Locus....................................................................................................... 4
Participatory Action Research (PAR) ....................................................................... 4
PAR Research Process ........................................................................................... 6
First and Second Phase: The Self-Perception (Private Image) and the Public Image
of the Corporations .................................................................................................. 9
Third Phase: The Experienced/Reputational Personalities of the Corporations under
Review .................................................................................................................. 11
Social Communication ........................................................................................... 12
Taking Pictures ...................................................................................................... 18
Participatory Mapping ............................................................................................ 19
Story Writing .......................................................................................................... 20
Fourth Phase: Review of Policy Gap 1 .................................................................. 21
THE CORPORATION AS PERSONALITY ............................................................... 22
The Corporation..................................................................................................... 22
The Bench Marks Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility .......................... 24
The Corporate Personality Approach ..................................................................... 25
PROFILE OF BOJANALA DISTRICT ....................................................................... 29
Background on the Bojanala District ...................................................................... 29
The Employment Profile of the District ................................................................... 30
The Services and Infrastructure Situation in the Bojanala District .......................... 32
Housing Backlog in the Bojanala District ............................................................... 35
Education Facilities in the Bojanala District............................................................ 38
Health and HIV/AIDS in the Bojanala District ......................................................... 39
Comments on the Bojanala District Profile ............................................................. 41
FINDINGS ................................................................................................................. 43
Anglo Platinum .................................................................................................... 43
Private and Public Personalities ............................................................................ 43
The Experienced Personality of Anglo Platinum .................................................... 46
Women in Mining ................................................................................................... 46
HDSA's in Management and Occupational Levels ................................................. 49
Plans to Build 20 000 Houses over the Next Ten Years......................................... 50
Multi-million Rand Black Economic Empowerment Deal for Communities ............. 52
People with Disabilities, Mine Health and Safety ................................................... 55
Environmental Impacts .......................................................................................... 58
Impala Platinum ................................................................................................... 59
Private and Public Personalities ............................................................................ 59
Sustainability ......................................................................................................... 61
Employee Health and Safety ................................................................................. 62
HIV/AIDS ............................................................................................................... 62
Tuberculosis .......................................................................................................... 63
Environmental Performance .................................................................................. 63
Social Performance ............................................................................................... 64
The Experienced Personality of Impala Platinum ................................................... 64
Mine Fatalities ....................................................................................................... 65
Environmental Impacts .......................................................................................... 69
Lonmin ................................................................................................................. 70
Private and Public Personalities ............................................................................ 70
Lonmin‟s Experienced Personality ......................................................................... 72
Worker Health and Safety ...................................................................................... 72
Lonmin and Local Employment in Marikana .......................................................... 76
Lonmin CSR project in Marikana ........................................................................... 76
The Impact of Mining on Commercial Agriculture in the Marikana Area ................. 77
Xstrata .................................................................................................................. 82
Public and Private Personalities ............................................................................ 82
Xstrata‟s HIV/AIDS Programmes ........................................................................... 85
Employment .......................................................................................................... 86
The Experienced Personality of Xstrata ................................................................. 86
HIV/AIDS Impacts on Mineworkers and Communities ........................................... 86
Employment of Locals ........................................................................................... 88
General ................................................................................................................. 88
Aquarius ............................................................................................................... 89
Private and Public Personalities ............................................................................ 89
Risk Management.................................................................................................. 90
Black Economic Empowerment ............................................................................. 91
Creating Employment ............................................................................................ 92
Accommodation and Nutrition ................................................................................ 93
Corporate Social Responsibility and Local Economic Development....................... 94
The Experienced Personality of Aquarius as Reflected by the Communities of
Ikemeleng and Marikana ....................................................................................... 95
Black Economic Empowerment – a Critical View ................................................... 95
Creating Employment ............................................................................................ 97
Accommodation and Nutrition .............................................................................. 101
Corporate Social Responsibility and Local Economic Development..................... 101
Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limitied (RBPL) ...................................................... 101
Private and Public Personalities .......................................................................... 101
Ownership ........................................................................................................... 103
Risk Management................................................................................................ 104
Stakeholder Interaction ........................................................................................ 105
HIV/AIDS ............................................................................................................. 105
The Experienced Personality of the Bafokeng Platinum Mines (Chaneng and Luka
Communities) ...................................................................................................... 106
The Contested History of Landownership ............................................................ 106
A Grave Matter – the RBN, RBH, RBP as Custodians of Traditional Culture in
Phokeng .............................................................................................................. 108
Ownership as Seen from the Community ............................................................ 110
HIV/AIDS and Health ........................................................................................... 111
Local Employment ............................................................................................... 112
Luka Village ......................................................................................................... 112
CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................ 117
Corporate Personalities Assessed ....................................................................... 117
RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................................................................... 122
Background ......................................................................................................... 122
The South African Parliament .............................................................................. 122
The South African Government ........................................................................... 124
Environment ........................................................................................................ 124
Living Conditions and Housing ............................................................................ 124
Health and Safety ................................................................................................ 125
Women in Mining ................................................................................................. 125
The South African Human Rights Commission .................................................... 125
Civil Society Organisations .................................................................................. 126
Corporate Social Responsibility ........................................................................... 126
Social Relations, Communities and CSR ............................................................. 126
Failed CSR Programmes ..................................................................................... 127
Recommendations for all Companies Surveyed in this Study .............................. 128
Economic Issues: Local Employment and Subcontracting ................................... 128
Employee Health and Safety ............................................................................... 128
Social Issues ....................................................................................................... 129
Environmental Issues .......................................................................................... 130
Specific Company Recommendations ................................................................. 130
Anglo Platinum .................................................................................................... 130
Impala ................................................................................................................. 131
Aquarius .............................................................................................................. 133
Xstrata ................................................................................................................. 133
Lonmin ................................................................................................................ 134
Royal Bafokeng Mining ........................................................................................ 134
Annexure 1: Comparison of Findings from Policy Gap 1 and Policy Gap 6 ............... 136
Bibliography .................................................................................................................... 143
Table 1: The Bench Marks Principles
Table 2: The impact of mining on water throughout the life of a mine
Table 3: Education facilities in the Bojanala District by type
Table 4: Schedule of visits to platinum mines in Zimbabwe
Table 5: The use of contractors by Implats vs full-time employees
Table 6: Lonmin´s achievements and challenges
Table 7: Percentage of employees at SA operations living within a 50km radius
Table 8: The accommodation profile of Aquarius employees
Table 9: Record of farms bought by communities
Table 10: Number of families interviewed per section of the village
Table 11: Employment profile of families interviewed by Luka monitors
Table 12: Total monthly family income for interviewed families
Table 13: Respiratory health issues in the Luka community
Table 14: Problems attributed to mining by families interviewed by Luka monitors 115
Figure 1:
A model of acculturation
Figure 2:
The three aspects of personality
Figure 3:
Map showing the Bojanala District in the North West province
Figure 4:
Where platinum is found in South Afria
Figure 5:
Graph showing unemployment by municipality in Bojanala District
Figure 6:
Graph showing employment status by age group in Bojanala District
Figure 7:
Anglo Platinum: Female employees by race and occupational level
Figure 8:
Anglo Platinum: Breakdown by occupational level and race of
male employees
Figure 9:
Geographical spread of public investors in BRPL in 2010
Photo 1:
Community research participants in Marikana
Photo 2:
Complete disregard for the living space of local communities
Photo 3:
„Blikkiesdorp‟ for relocated farm workers in Marikana
Photo 4:
Current housing stock in villages and townships is being ripped apart by
blasting and tremors
Photo 5:
An Anglo Platinum CSR board in Chaneng
Photo 6:
Wall-less, door less toilets in a Chaneng School
Photo 7:
Impala platinum billboard advertising paved road in Chaneng
Photo 8:
Impala Platinum ore train running up and down a line that has numerous
unguarded rail/road crossings
Photo 9:
One of many unguarded/unbridged rail crossing affecting Luka,
Rasimone and Chaneng
Photo 10: One of several sewage spills in RDP village next to Lonmin Karee mine,
Photo 11: Case history file for child chronically ill from sewage spill next to her
house, Marikana
Photo 12: Lonmin CSR signage at school with asbestos classroom blocks
Photo 13: Asbestos classroom blocks, Marikana
Photo 14: Unguarded rail crossing, Marikana
Photo 15: Failed multi-million rans Lonmin hydroponics project
Photo 16: Abandoned multi-million CSR project in ruins
Photo 17: Ruined Lonmin CSR project
Photo 18: Ruins of farms are plentiful around Marikana as agriculture retreats
before mining
Photo 19: Ikemeleng informal settlement
Photo 20: Ikemeleng typical housing for subcontractor workers
Photo 21: Prospecting marker: SD212 Styldrift mine with remaining grave of
community burial site in the background
Box 1:
Road Map: Rustenburg Review and Community Action Research
Box 2:
Anglo Platinum in its own words
Box 3:
Anglo Platinum‟s Community Empowerment project in the Media
Box 4:
Impala Platinum in its own words
Box 5:
Lonmin Platinum in its own words
Box 6:
Xstrata in its own words
Box 7:
Xstrata Coal South Africa accused of sacking HIV-positive miners
Box 8:
Aquarius Platinum Ltd in its own words
Box 9:
Xenophobic wars: remarks by Ikemeleng resident
Box 10:
Royal Bafokeng in its own words
Box 11:
The Bafokeng Land Buyers Association in its own words
Box 12:
Mine promises and corporate social responsibility is a lie
Box 13:
How to balance corporate personalities
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Adult Basic Education and Training
Affordable Life Solutions for Africa
Anglo Platinum
Australian Stock Exchange
Arthur Taylor Colliery Opencast Mine
Black Economic Empowerment
Bushveld Igneous Complex
Bafokeng Land Buyers Association
Bench Marks Foundation
Bafokeng Rasimone Mine Joint Venture
Community Based Organisation
Corporate Citizenship
Commission for Concilliation Mediation and Arbitration
Chief Executive Officer
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Australia).
Congress of South African Trade Unions
Corporate Social Investment
Corporate Social Responsibility
Curriculum Vitae
Department of Mineral Resources
Environmental Impact Assessments
Environmental Management Plan
Faith Based Organisation
Free Prior and Informed Consent
Financial Year
Greater Lonmin Community
Historically Disadvantaged South Africans
Headline Earnings per Share
Human Resources
Integrated Development Plan
International Labour Organisation
Impala Platinum
International Organisation on Migration
International Standards Organisation
Johannesburg Stock exchange
Joint Ventures
London Stock Exchange
Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate
Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act
NEHAWU National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union
Non Governmental Organisation
National Union of Mine Workers
North West Province
North-West University
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Participatory Action Research
Platinum Group Metals
Public Limited Company
Royal Bafokeng Administration
Royal Bafokeng Holdings
Royal Bafokeng Nation
Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited
Royal Bafokeng Platinum
Reconstruction and Development Programme
South African Broadcasting Corporation
Southern African Development Community
Styl Drift
Social Impact Assessments
Social and Labour Plan
Small Micro and Medium Enterprises
The Employment Bureau of Africa
Voluntary Counselling and Testing
Zimbabwe Platinum
The Bench Marks Foundation wishes to acknowledge the following contributing
organisations, entities and individuals:
The lead researcher, David van Wyk, for his tireless work.
All the participating communities; without whose input this report would not have
been possible: the Chaneng Youth Organisation; Mafenya Youth organisation;
Marikana Development Organisation; Enviro Kids; Ikemeleng Environment
Organisation; Luka Environmental Forum; and the Tlhabane Youth Organisation.
In Mafenya, we would particularly like to thank Kagiso Padi, Thabo Mathulwe,
Lesego Mabe, Katlego Mpudi, Olga Mathulwe; in the Luka community: Hassan
Mekgwe, Phistus Mekgwe, Frans Mathipa, Tlhapane Mekgwe, Lucas Mekgwe; in
Tlhabane: Christinah Mogodiri, Lebogang Mabele, Snoop Raikane, Debrah
Kgatlhane and Rapula Kedige. In the Chaneng community we would particularly like
to thank Chris Senne, Makhuduga Mokuwa, Keneiloe Letupu, Lesego Motene, Gabi
Montsho; in Marikana: Chris Molebatsi, Thulisile Nkabinde, Nhlanhla Menzikuhle,
Alex Salang, Mmathapelo Moamogwa and in Ikemeleng: Pule Shawe, Norman
Thobedi, Phindile Ngobeni, Mothusi Kok, and Tsholefelang Kokwe.
Mining companies that provided valuable information to the research team include
Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin, Xstrata, Aquarius and the Royal Bafokeng
Platinum Limited.
We would also like to thank the following people for their contributions and
comments at the Bench Marks Foundation: John Capel, Moses Cloete, Hassen
Lorgat, Bobby Marie, Joseph Magobe, Eric Mokuoa, Brown Motsau, Simo Gumede
and Maria Dyveke Styve. We also thank Cameron Jacobs at the SAHRC, and Piet
Beukes, board member of the Bench Marks Foundation.
We thank the Bench Marks Centre for CSR at the North-West University, for the use
of researchers and their pivotal role in the study conducted. We would especially like
to thank David van Wyk, Prof. Freek Cronjé, Dr. Charity Chenga, Doret Botha,
Suzanne Reyneke and Prof. Eric Nealer.
This study would not have been possible without the support of our core funders and
partners: Christian Aid, EED (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst), Diakonia Sweden,
ICCO KerkinActie (Interkerkelijke Organisatie voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) and
Norwegian Church Aid.
The Bench Marks Foundation
The Bench Marks Foundation is an independent non-governmental organisation that
aims to ensure that the operations of big corporations do not in any way undermine
community life or destroy the environment. The Bench Marks Foundation is
mandated by the churches to monitor the practices of multinational corporations to
ensure they respect human rights, operate in a way that protects the environment
and do not externalise costs; that profit making is not done at the expense of other
interest groups and that those most negatively impacted upon are heard, protected
and accommodated. The Bench Marks Foundation‟s concern is that private
corporations, often with the support of government leaders, make very large profits
while communities suffer high levels of inequality and poverty. The Bench Marks
Foundation is equally concerned about the destruction of our air, water and soil
resources that results from industrial activities such as mining.
The Bench Marks Foundation conducts research that is used to monitor multinational
corporations. It works with local communities and networks to support them in
engaging on a more level footing with multinational corporations and governments to
bring about change in their practises. The Bench Marks Foundation promotes public
awareness through media outlets, websites, blogs and Facebook. The Bench Marks
Foundation further works to promote ideas on what constitutes good investment and
corporate practice, and encourages the church and other religious leaders to
become more active in promoting responsible corporate investments.
The Bench Marks Foundation was set up by The South African Council of Churches
(SACC), the Ecumenical Service for Socio–Economic Transformation (ESSET),
Industrial Mission of South Africa, CDT Foundation and the Justice and Peace
Department of the South African Catholic Bishops Conference. Archbishop Desmond
Tutu launched the Foundation in 2001 and an office was established in 2003 in
Johannesburg. The Rt. Rev Dr Jo Seoka chairs the organisation and is the founding
chairperson of the Foundation. The Bench Marks Foundation works with research,
NGOs, religious and community organisations across the Southern African
Development Community. Its international partners are:
The Interfaith Centre on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)-USA
The Taskforce on Churches & Corporate Responsibility (TCCR) - Canada
The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility-UK
The Christian Centre for Socially Responsible Investment- Australia
Together with our international partners we share a measurement instrument called
the Bench Marks, Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility – Bench
Marks for Measuring Business Performance. This is a comprehensive set of
social, economic and environmental criteria and business performance indicators
drawn from a body of internationally recognised human rights, labour and
environmental standards and principles. These principles form an important basis for
the research conducted by the Bench Marks Foundation, and are used to monitor
the multinational corporations.
Once again I am pleased to release this research study on platinum mining in the
North West Province in the Bojanala District. In 2007 the Bench Marks Foundation
released a study on platinum mining in the North West Province (Rustenburg) called
the Policy Gap, hereinafter referred to as Policy Gap 1, in which we made a number
of recommendations to Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Lonmin and Xstrata on
how to improve their social, economic and environmental performance within the
framework of corporate social responsibility.
In 2011, Policy Gap 1 was revisited to review whether there had been any changes
in the behavior of these corporations with regards to communities, and whether the
mining houses had taken up any of the recommendations from the Bench Marks
Foundation. The recommendations were centered on reducing the negative impacts
on the environment, air and water quality and dealt with land concerns, and creating
sustainable economic practices. Recommendations were further made for the
companies to deal with labour issues, the living-out allowance, subcontracting and
HIV and Aids, both in the workplace and in the surrounding communities.
We start from the assumption that management and investors will not voluntarily act
in the interest of society and the environment, and believe that this is a correct
assumption. We believe that the starting point of economic life begins with
communities, and so we want to know how those directly impacted upon, benefit
from mining.
To do our studies we use as our basis, the Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility - Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance. The global
Bench Marks Principles have been formulated by a number of faith-based
organisations and non-governmental organisations from around the globe on what
civil society considers constitutes responsible business behaviour. It is a tool which
different organisations can use to implement meaningful economic, social and
environmental sustainability. It is designed to help groups to move from an
articulation of values to a set of principles, to concrete points of dialogue and to
Overarching principles the Bench Marks research instrument calls for:
A sustainable system of production and distribution.
Preservation of the broader and social environment for present and future
A more equitable system for the distribution of economic benefits.
Stakeholder participation, especially those most affected and exploited by
companies‟ operations.
The promotion of life and freedom for all humanity.
This review was done with our Community Monitoring School, and six organised
communities participating in the research process. The community monitors
engaged with their communities and collected information on various issues affecting
them. This was a pivotal part of the research, and was also put together in a
separate community report.
This study also involved our Bench Marks Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility
at the North-West University, and the outcome we hope will assist not only
corporations to improve their social responsibility actions, but also empower
communities to engage with the mining houses on a more level footing.
Overall, we have seen very little improvement in the performance of the companies
surveyed on corporate social responsibility. What we have seen, is a large increase
in corporate advertising, large spreads in newspapers and billboards stating how
responsible mining is, in particular by Anglo Platinum. Instead, all the companies
reviewed here should respond to community concerns over jobs, health care and a
safe and healthy environment.
Once again we have to report that all the companies surveyed, although participating
in the research, have failed on a whole to meet the Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility - Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance.
Rt Rev Dr. Jo Seoka- Chairperson, the Bench Marks Foundation
The Bench Marks Foundation‟s aim is to change corporate behaviour towards
responsible business conduct – conduct that benefits communities and enhances the
overall wellbeing of those most negatively impacted upon. We have a particular
concern with how women are impacted upon and how mining contributes to the
spread of HIV and AIDS. Women suffer livelihood losses, marginalisation and loss of
identity and both directly and indirectly bear the consequences of mining operations.
We still cannot see how mining communities benefit. Yet we read these mining
houses‟ sustainability reports and see they talk of building clinics and schools, but
these projects seem to make little difference to the impacts on communities‟
wellbeing. Mines seem not to care about water impacts that cause health and
livelihood problems, air quality issues that lead to respiratory problems or the overall
development of communities on whose land they operate.
We note all the talk in company sustainability reports to society that project these
companies as being exemplary in their operations. What we realise is that for the
mining companies surveyed their Corporate Social Responsibility is more strategic
interventions to look good. This is based on how they want the public and investors
to perceive them. But behind this is their private image, one of pursuing profits more
often than not at a cost to other people, mainly communities nearby or downstream.
We focus on the experienced reality of communities and find that what the mining
houses in Bojanala District in the North West Province say on paper does not really
translate into meaningful practices by the said corporations.
We hope that the mining corporations under review will dissect this study to improve
how they conduct their business operations and engage with the Bench Marks
Foundation and communities on the research findings. We also hope that decision
makers, the South African government, ethical investors and think-tank organisations
will use the findings to ensure mining is done more responsibly.
We need to be aware of the win-win solution propagated by many, when in fact we
have winners and losers, and the losers, communities and specifically women tend
to carry the costs of mining that are externalised onto them.
I can only hope that this report will shake up the mining industry and that the issues
raised will be on every mining company‟s agenda.
John Capel - Executive Director
Bench Marks Foundation
Executive summary
In 2007 the Bench Marks Foundation published Policy Gap 1, looking at the impacts
on local communities from platinum mining in the North West province. The findings
showed that despite the great value extracted from platinum mining, there are
harmful social, economic and environmental impacts on local communities, and the
mining companies have yet to assume their responsibility for the negative
consequences of their mining activities. This report revisits the initial one to look at
what changes have taken place, and further aims to investigate the perceptions that
local communities have of mining companies to evaluate the corporate personalities
of these companies. In order to increase the participation of local communities,
participatory action research was chosen as a methodology.
The corporations surveyed in Policy Gap 6 include Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum,
Lonmin, Xstrata, Aquarius and Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited. Although they all
have corporate social responsibility programmes in place, the overall findings of this
study show that they all fail to meet the standards of the Principles for Global
Corporate Responsibility - Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance.
For Anglo Platinum, the study finds that despite making headways in achieving the
goals set by the MPRDA related to the employment of historically disadvantaged
South Africans (HDSAs), the employment of women and increasing HDSA
procurement, significant challenges remain. While it is positive that Anglo Platinum
has improved the number of HSDAs in management positions, the company still
needs to do a lot more for its employment profile to be reflective of South African
demographics. The increase in the number of employed women is also positive, but
must be accompanied by a transformation of the workplace culture to accommodate
female workers and provide them with a safe working environment. The study also
expresses concerns around Anglo Platinum‟s two CSR-projects to provide
employees with houses and for communities to buy shares in Anglo Platinum.
When it comes to environmental impacts, Anglo Platinum itself admits to exceeding
permitted emission levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and harmful impacts on water
resources in the area. The Bench Marks Foundation is concerned that the
corporation reports only a 63% compliance with 688 conditions requiring legal
compliance. Anglo Platinum must take immediate steps to comply with legal
requirements and set emission limits.
The main issues concerning Impala Platinum (Implat) include high levels of fatalities
at its operations, extensive use of sub-contracted labour, and damaging
environmental impacts. The levels of fatalities are unacceptably high, and must be
seen in connection with the push for cost containment, the use of subcontracting and
the low levels of worker literacy. Impala Platinum has increased the number of subcontractors it employs, and subcontracted labour is often poorly paid and poorly
accommodated. Further, the lack of employment opportunities given to local youth is
creating tension with the surrounding communities. Impala Platinum should further
show greater concern for public safety in the communities surrounding the mine, by
immediately setting up proper booms and bridges at the rail crossings that are now
In terms of environmental impacts, emission levels of SO2 and CO2 are too high at
Impala Platinum‟s Rustenburg operations. For CO2 emissions, the Rustenburg
operations account for over 70% of all of Implat‟s CO 2 emissions. This means that
the communities of the Bojanala District are bearing the heaviest burden of air
pollution of all of Implat‟s operations in Southern Africa.
Regarding Lonmin’s operations some of the key problems highlighted by the report
include a high level of fatalities, very poor living conditions for workers, community
demands for employment opportunities and the impacts of mining on commercial
farming in the area. Almost a third of Lonmin‟s workforce is contracted labour, and
community demands for employment have lead to protests and unrest. The company
was also in a union dispute, after which Lonmin dismissed 9 000 workers at the
Marikana operations.
Commercial farming in the Marikana area has been negatively impacted upon by the
mining activities here. As the mines buy more land, the farms that remain become
isolated, and suffer under the environmental impacts of mining on the quality of the
water sources in the area.
One of the key challenges when assessing Xstrata’s CSR-programmes is that the
company‟s sustainable development report covers all its operations across the world,
without breaking down the report to specific country levels. This makes it very
difficult to obtain a clear picture of Xstrata‟s CSR programme in the Bojanala District
of the North West Province specifically.
However, some major concerns were raised by local communities regarding how
Xstrata deals with HIV/AIDS and local employment. In February 2011 the National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) alleged that Xstrata was firing workers on the grounds
of their HIV/AIDS status from one of its South African collieries. This is despite
Xstrata‟s claims of providing extensive HIV/AIDS programmes for its workers. This
incident led to Xstrata employees fearing to be tested and treated at the mine‟s
health facilities, and instead going to government facilities. These government
facilities have then become overstrained, leading to tensions with local residents
over access to health facilities.
Another source of tension between the local community and Xstrata is the perception
among local residents that Xstrata is heavily reliant on contract workers from outside
the local communities. This is despite Xstrata‟s claim to employ most of its workforce
Policy Gap 1 in 2007 found poor environmental management of water and waste
behind Xstrata‟s operations, but the current report shows a significant improvement
on this point.
For Aquarius the issue of local employment is also a source of tension with the local
communities. Aquarius claims to have a minimum of 51% employed from the local
communities, defined as people living within 50km radius of the mine‟s operations.
However, such a definition includes migrant labourers who are living in local
communities, and so continues to be a source of tension. Further, Aquarius has a
very heavy reliance on sub-contracting, employing 9 434 workers as subcontracted
labour out of a total of 11 072 employees. The living-out allowance given to workers
is linked to increases in informal settlements, a problem raised in the report in
relation to most of the companies surveyed. Finally, the report highlighted some of
the problematic issues relating to Savannah Resources Consortium‟s shares in
Aquarius, given the links of this BEE consortium to people with high-level political
Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited is the final company surveyed in Policy Gap 6.
One of the key issues raised, especially in Luka and Chaneng, is the contested
ownership of land. The Bafokeng Land Buyers Association was established to
contest the claim of the Royal Bafokeng Authority that all the land was purchased by
it as a single entity. Not only are the people of Chaneng contesting the land question,
but they are also demanding a 30% ownership state in the Styldrift mine as
compensation for having given up their land for its development. More tension is
created by the lack of employment opportunities for local youth, as workers are
sourced from outside of the local communities. Another issue that can lead to
increased tension with the surrounding communities is the illegal desecration of
graves in the prospecting for the new Styldrift mine.
In conclusion, the companies surveyed in Policy Gap 6 have a long way to go to deal
with the negative impacts of their operations on local communities in the Bojanala
District and to meet the standards of the Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility - Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance.
Contextualised Quotes
Mine manager: “Our relationship with the community is like a marriage, we must not
get third parties to spoil our relationship, when there are problems in a relationship
we must try and resolve them. The government through its intervention is acting like
a marriage councillor, but we must resolve our issues ourselves.”
Community member: “This marriage you are referring to is problematic, because
we woke up one morning in 2008 to find this mining company in our bed, we were
violated because there was no consultation, it was sex without consent – it was
Mine HR manager: Hau bana, there is nothing like rape in traditional weddings or
marriage, the wife has to do what the husband wants….”
[Joking banter which took place during a break in conflict resolution discussions
between a mining company and a community in the Bojanala District]
“Africa is lying ready for us. It is our duty to take it” - Cecil John Rhodes, mining
magnate and prime minister of the Cape Colony (Thomas, 1996, p. 134)
In 2007 the Bench Marks Foundation launched the first report of the Policy Gap
series, hereinafter referred to as Policy Gap 1. The study examined the Corporate
Social Responsibility programmes of the platinum mining industry in the North West
Province, and made a number of strong findings. Annexure 1 reflects the comparison
between the main findings of Policy Gap 1 and this report (Policy Gap 6).
The study found a lack of substantial engagement from the mining companies with
local communities. Social plans required by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources
Development Act (MPRDA) and Mining Charter are not made public, making it
difficult for local communities to engage directly with these. Mining companies tend
to focus their contributions on the construction of clinics and classrooms, or housing,
but fail to deal with the environmental, economic, social and health impacts that
mining operations have on local communities. This shows a reluctance to take
responsibility for the impact of mining.
Further, communities in the Rustenburg area of the North West Province are
affected by the CO2 and SO2 emissions associated with the increasing number of
platinum smelters in the area. These emissions also give rise to acid rain, with a
harmful impact on farming activities. Water sources are also being contaminated by
both mining activities and the waste produced by informal settlements without
access to waste removal and sewage systems. The locations of the informal
settlements are closely linked to those of the platinum mines.
The health impact of mining includes a high level of respiratory infections linked to
the pollution in the area, and a high rate of HIV/AIDS infections. The increase in
HIV/AIDS must be seen in connection with the influx of migrant labour to the mines,
the policy of subcontracting, the living-out allowance and the lack of job opportunities
for women in the area, who then resort to sex work as a source of income.
Local communities in the Rustenburg area have yet to benefit from the mining
operations, as unemployment and poverty levels remain high. The lack of job
opportunities must be seen in conjunction with the tendency of mining companies to
use migrant labour instead of training workers from the local communities. The
policies of subcontracting and outsourcing are not resulting in local procurement and
economic development. Furthermore, there is a strong gender bias in the industry,
with a lack of employment opportunities for women.
In general, the mining corporations do not provide levels of environmental, income,
health and safety standards equal to that of their operations in North America,
Europe or Australia.
In 2011, the Bench Marks Foundation decided that it was appropriate to review
Policy Gap 1 to assess the situation anew. However, seeing the huge impact mining
operations have on communities, the decision was made to give mine-affected
communities a far greater voice in this second report. Since the publication of the
first report, the Bench Marks Foundation has attempted to train community monitors
to become the „eyes and ears‟ of the community, in terms of observing and
understanding the impact of mining and to speak, write about and report on mining
and community issues (Bench Marks Foundation, 2007).
The first report was intended to raise local, national and international awareness
about the impact of platinum mining on the environment, the local economy, health
and safety of both workers and the community, local culture and society and even on
the political reality. This review is different from Policy Gap 1, in that it will take the
form of an action research process, where local communities co-execute the
research. A fuller description of this methodology will follow (see Point 2); however,
very briefly, action research involves the community more directly and represents
research, not on the community, but with the community.
What is common to both reports is the reliance of both researchers and communities
on the Bench Marks Foundation‟s policy document, Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility: Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance (Bench Marks
Foundation, 2003). The questionnaires that were sent to mining corporations, as well
as the action research process, were informed by this seminal document. The
principles cover a wide range of areas in which to measure corporate social
responsibility. For the wider community the principles include the areas of
ecosystems, impacts on national, local and indigenous communities and resource
Relating to the corporate business community, the principles cover working
conditions and health and safety for the employed and the conditions for a variety of
worker groups. Furthermore, it covers issues related to suppliers, financial and
ethical integrity, corporate governance, shareholders, joint ventures, customers and
consumers. The principles measure the impact a corporation has on the
environment, its workers, local communities and the dignity of the people it affects.
The reader should be mindful that the entire research process was collective
involving senior staff at the Bench Marks Foundation, researchers from the NorthWest University, monitors and members of communities, as the methodological
section will show. The end product cannot therefore be ascribed to a single author,
but as the product of all those who contributed.
The research aimed to achieve the following objectives:
To analyse the corporate personalities of the extractive firms in the area
according to the perceptions of local communities. This analysis is based on
the Bench Marks Foundation‟s policy document, Principles for Global
Corporate Responsibility: Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance
(Bench Marks Foundation, 2003);
To review the Bench Marks Foundation´s Policy Gap 1 publication to
determine whether the situation has changed since 2007. In addition to a
review using a participatory action research (PAR) methodology, a review
was also done in a quantitative way through questionnaires filled in by
mining companies, based on the Bench Marks Foundation‟s policy
document, Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility: Bench Marks for
Measuring Business Performance (Bench Marks Foundation, 2003);
To employ the PAR approach as guidance for the methodology to increase
the participation of communities and develop community capacity to monitor
mining operations in their area; and
To solicit the views of the corporations under review by means of
questionnaires based on the Bench Marks Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility, as well as through a review of corporate literature such as
annual reports, reports to society and media reports.
Research locus
The research was mainly focussed on the Bojanala District of the North West
Province of South Africa (see Point 4). The Bojanala District includes the towns of
Maanhaarsrand, Magaliesburg, Phokeng, Rustenburg and Swartruggens. Kroondal,
Phokeng and Rustenburg fall directly within the scope of the study, which also
includes the lesser towns of Marikana, Mooinooi and Tlhabane; and the villages of
Luka / Mafenya and Chaneng (in Phokeng) and the informal settlement of Ikemeleng
next to Kroondal.
Consequently, an overview of PAR as well as limitations of the approach will be
Participatory Action Research (PAR)
Prozesky and Mouton (2001, p. 537) define PAR as an activity in research which is
used to serve the ends to empowerment, conscientisation and emancipation in
development. Participation means that the research subjects control and own as
many aspects of the research activity as possible and participate actively in all
phases of the process. PAR is one of the most widely used research approaches
that is characterised by a participatory element.
The approach is commonly used in underprivileged, poor rural settings in „Third
World‟ countries and research settings, like the relevant area in this study (important
to note, PAR excludes elites!). It is characterised by the strong involvement and
degree of participation of members of the public in the research process. PAR is
explicitly designed to lead to social actions and change (see Babbie & Mouton,
The specific aims of PAR are to:
Stimulate actions which are useful to participants by leading to improvement
in their situation and induce positive transformation;
Transform the physical environment and economic conditions as well as the
participants‟ overall quality of life; and
Develop self-reliance among the participants and involve the development of
freedom and democracy in a general and political sense.
PAR can thus be considered as a learning strategy aimed at empowering
participants, which is a continual concept. As already indicated, it is not research
done on people and does not treat people as objects for research, but rather as
research subjects. PAR is more likely to meet participants‟ needs and be compatible
with cultural values and it encourages them to apply what they have learned. All
participants in PAR should be equal and learn and teach together; local knowledge,
wisdom and expertise of participants are highly respected and valued in this
approach. The merge of local and academic knowledge is another strength of the
approach and leads to a much more accurate picture and deeper understanding of a
research setting.
PAR is more than often multi-disciplinary because of its problem solving nature and
has a preference to qualitative research, because it uses methods developed from
anthropological and social traditions (peer interviews, group interviews and field
notes). PAR may however also use data collecting methods that are quantitative in
the form of surveys or census (for example Treasury Reports). Participants within a
PAR paradigm have been found to work better in groups or workshops. Numerous
workshops with community representatives were held during the research period for
this Review (starting in February 2011) in order to get the PAR process underway.
Qualitative research in general and PAR specifically, definitely also have some
limitations (see Sarantakos, 2005 p. 45), and the authors - to be balanced in the
execution of the research - acknowledge some of the most dominant and common
points of critique in this regard. In general, an inability exists within qualitative and
PAR paradigms to study relationships between variables with the accuracy to
establish social trends. This kind of research and studies are normally based on
small samples and does not produce fully representative results; because of this,
their findings cannot be generalised, and are thus restricted only to the relevant
research setting. Critics of this approach more than often question the objectivity of
these methodologies, thus the quality of the findings might be questionable.
Furthermore, no exact and precise quality assurance exists to ensure that the
researcher fully and correctly captures the true meanings and interpretations of the
respondents; hence the concepts of validity and reliability might also be tentative.
Qualitative studies also do not produce data that allow comparisons; therefore
replicability of the exact research structure is not possible. In the last instance, close
contact with respondents (through the repeated workshops, etc.) can lead to ethical
Having shed some light on the positives and possible limitations of a qualitative and
PAR approach, it is consequently important to view the study methodologically in
context. Firstly, PAR was applied to counter some of the research fatigue of people
and communities in the area, by actively involving the communities in an alternative
research process, with some specific outcomes in mind (see description of PAR). In
the second instance, one of the main aims (see Objectives, Point 1.2) of the project
was to give the results and findings a „personal voice‟. Furthermore, the results were
mirrored (triangulated) – as far as possible – against Policy Gap 1, as well as against
earlier research on stakeholder perceptions in the very same area (see Cronjé et al.,
2005), where some of the data in the earlier study was based on quantitative inquiry.
In an inductive way, the gathered data was also re-contextualised by applicable
literature (a basic prerequisite for validity in qualitative research). Lastly, the Report
simply aims to convey a scientific message (the findings) through a somewhat
alternative methodological paradigm.
PAR research process
The starting point of the whole process was to initiate and stimulate communication
and awareness regarding the broad research focus through workshops and group
discussions. Towards this end, the Bench Marks Foundation created a start up team
consisting of Bobbie Marie, David van Wyk and Eric Mokuoa as initiators, and
Joseph Magobe as overall community coordinator in Rustenburg. This team later
included key community participants, with monitors from Luka, Chaneng, Tlhabane,
Ikemeleng and Marikana, and academics and students from the North-West
University, including Prof. Freek Cronjé, Dr. Charity Chenga and Mrs. Doret Botha.
In this way a balance was achieved between academic rigour and the space for
community voices to come through.
It should be noted that the purpose of the research is not merely to produce yet
another report, but to develop a community intervention strategy to address the
imbalance of power that exists between communities and corporations in the
Rustenburg area. In Policy Gap 1, it was found that this imbalance results from the
fact that corporations - through their wealth and resources - have access to
academic, judicial and legislative power and knowledge; that knowledge is in fact
power (Foucault, 1994). Working with communities, this research aims to evolve a
road map for community action and intervention, to engage with corporations and
government to effectively address the challenges faced by communities as a result
of mining.
Due to the specific focus of the research, it must also be noted that government was
not directly included in the inquiry, although recommendations were made to
government at the end of the process.
Unlike Policy Gap 1, this research is not merely an evaluation of the Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes of the various mines operating in
Rustenburg. CSR reports represent but one face of corporate personality, their
public personality, which is how they wish to be viewed by the public (Babiak & Hare,
2007, p. 71). CSR therefore represents corporate impression management that is
managing our perceptions of them. This research is focused on the way communities
view and experience mining corporations, in other words, the impressions that
communities have of mining corporations. The research proceeds from the
assumption that if corporations are attributed legal persona, they may sue or be
sued, then corporate behaviour may also be evaluated in terms of psychological
personality traits. This means that ordinary citizens may hold corporate citizens not
only legally accountable, but also socially responsible (also see Point 3). This
research therefore turns CSR on its head. It is no longer a matter of corporates
managing public perceptions, but of the public managing corporate behaviour and
holding corporations accountable for their actions. We are no longer talking of
communities in mining but of mining in communities.
The following issues were carefully considered at the start of the process:
The way in which the space and style of discussions were shaped;
The language being used, for example definition of problems, opportunities
and resources;
How to identify the geographical research area and the resources available
to do the work; and
The preliminary identification of the social actors who will participate in the
action research.
As the social actors became involved, they brought refinement to both the process
and the outcomes in defining, understanding and deciding on the actions to take.
After solidarity, cohesion and rapport were established in the workshops, groups and
through numerous discussions and briefings, the community collective was involved
and fully responsible for the rest of the process. The most important phases in the
research process were:
Problem formulation
Planning of the project design
Implementing and monitoring
Reaching final conclusions
Communication of results
Review and reflection
Generating problem solutions and applying research outcomes and
assessment of the results
Validation of the findings (Babbie & Mouton, 2001, pp 315-316)
In addition, all the mining companies under review were sent questionnaires to
complete; these documents were used in conjunction with annual reports and other
company documents to understand the corporate perspective on the issues under
review. The Bench Marks Foundation wishes to express its gratitude to all the
corporations for responding to the questionnaires. The mining corporations observed
were Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Mines, Aquarius, Xtrata and
First and Second Phase: The self-perception (private image) and the
public image of the corporations
The intention of this research (see Objectives, Point 1.2) is to determine the kind of
personality traits that platinum group metal mining corporations, operating in the
Bojanala District around the town of Rustenburg in South Africa, display. This
assessment was conducted and guided through the PAR process. Generally, the
process involved workshops, focus groups and discussions within the broader
research collective (communities), interviews with current and former employees,
and, in addition, assessing documents and literature internal to each corporation.
Each corporation was also requested to complete an assessment questionnaire.
Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) and Impala Platinum (Implats), Xstrata and Lonmin
(Lonplats) responded to the questionnaire which is a significant improvement on the
response obtained from Policy Gap 1. The questionnaires were structured around
the Bench Marks Foundation‟s policy document, Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility: Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance (Bench Marks
Foundation, 2003).
The self-perception (private image) of companies is in most cases mainly reflected
by the views of management, as well as by vision and mission statements about how
it perceives itself. Despite „honest‟ and „noble‟ beliefs and statements, the following
„private behaviour‟ may occur in companies: cutting costs and producing
substandard products, not paying employees a living wage, providing not totally
accurate information to shareholders, subtle transgressing laws and regulations and
nepotism, etc.
The research teams‟ impression of the public image was informed by the PAR
collective as well as by analysing statements to the media, advertising and the
reports to society/sustainability reports of each company. The corporate‟s public
image is the image the corporation seeks to portray to the general public, through
advertising and public relations exercises. Despite the clichéd shibboleth of neo-
liberal economics that corporations and entrepreneurs are risk takers, it is the
experience of the Bench Marks Foundation that most companies are risk averse and
mostly seek to minimise or avoid risk.
Most corporations fear bad publicity and they fear the impact of bad publicity on their
brand. Union Carbide for example, suffered massive negative impact after the
Bhopal gas disaster of 1984 in which 3 787 people died within weeks as a result of a
toxic gas leak from a pesticide plant and more than 8 000 have since died from gas
related illnesses. So bad were the consequences that Union Carbide eventually sold
the plant, but the corporation is still suffering from the consequences. The impact of
the disaster could perhaps have been mitigated if the communities around Bhopal
had been given more information about the environmental, health and safety risks
associated with the plant, had been informed about disaster management
procedures, and had been represented on the disaster management committee of
the corporation.
In the asbestosis case involving the British multinational corporation Cape PLC,
3 000 asbestos victims (employees and members of the community) were affected
by the inhalation of asbestos dust. This was not a once-off disaster, but people
becoming ill over a prolonged period of time. In either case, greater community
awareness, better community organisation, better community access to information
and knowledge and a better more even balance of power between the community
and the corporate could have averted disaster and saved lives.
Whereas Joel Bakan (2004) considers all corporations psychopathic, the Bench
Marks Foundation believes that there are variations in corporate personalities and
such variations are worth investigating. The Bench Marks Foundation believes that
corporate behavioural change is possible through engaging them in discussion,
through social sanction, civic pressure and better governance and regulation; hence
the need for research projects like this.
In order to complete the picture of the three aspects of personality, it was necessary
to solicit the perceptions of the communities impacted by mining, to get a sense of
how they „experienced‟ the corporations under review. The PAR process again
formed the basis of this investigation.
corporations under review
The community action research took place in six communities, three traditional
villages (Luka, Chaneng and Mafenya), one township (Tlhabane), one informal
settlement (Ikemeleng), and one former farming centre, now mining frontier town
The main aim of the community action research is to stimulate these communities
into action around issues relating to the impact of mining. Through the process
capacity can be built for activism with and in the identified communities, from the
understanding that democracy is a process of deepening the active participation of
(Davidson, 1977, pp 27 - 31). It is expected that the research process will help
communities to realise and become aware of their own strengths and rights within
the law, what gains can be realised through these strengths and what obligations
they have towards their fellow villagers, the environment and future generations. It is
therefore incumbent upon communities to hold mining corporations accountable and
responsible for the potential benefits that communities may derive from mining
activities by corporations, and more importantly for the actual and potential negative
impacts or costs to society of such activities.
The aim is further to assist the transformation of communities perceived to be
passive victims of corporate impact to active champions of the cause of good
governance, responsible environmental impact management, and effective economic
and commercial engagement with mining corporations towards realising the best
possible agreements for the community.
The relevance and importance of this type of research is underlined by the fact that
in the months September to November 2011, there have been outbursts of
community protests in Marikana (against Lonmin), in Chaneng (against the Royal
Bafokeng Mine‟s Styldrift operation) and in Ikemeleng / Kroondal (against Aquarius
and Impala Platinum).
The findings of this section (to reveal the experienced personality of the company
through the eyes of the community) will be presented in accordance with the most
important „data gathering tools‟ for PAR, namely social communication, picture
taking, participatory mapping and story writing.
Social communication
Using Borinni-Feyerabend‟s (Selin et al., 2007, pp 421 – 425) description, the
research team identified social communication and social learning as follows:
“Communication may be personal (i.e. one-to-one); interpersonal (among a few
academic research
questionnaires and focus groups usually achieve; or social (when it involves groups
such as a community). Social communication is about providing the conditions for
interactive learning and informed decision making in communities [in this research
about mining], thus promoting the sharing of information and the discussion of
problems, opportunities and alternative options for action. Interactive learning is
critical for co-management of a community action research plan as it attempts to
overcome the logic of top-down expert authority and behaviour.”
The members of the start-up team already had an awareness of the issues,
problems and opportunities that concern various social actors impacted on and
affected by mining in the Rustenburg area, having worked with community monitors
since 2007. The start-up team also had the benefit of studying Policy Gap 1 and
through the work that Bobby Marie and Eric Mokuoa have been doing in the area.
However, the team was careful to refrain from discussing technical questions or the
best ways to resolve impact problems, or to respond to opportunities for community
or NGO action, so as not to prejudice the outcomes of communications between the
team and the broader community.
Social communication was important for the research team throughout the research
process. One of the team‟s first objectives with social communication was to inform
the representatives of each village about how the team intended to manage the
research process. The management of the action research process was therefore
collectively owned and adjusted. The outcome of the entire research process is
aimed at promoting a critical understanding and appropriation of the issues by the
community. The co-management of the process is not for members of the
community to behave in tune with what the „experts‟ in the start-up process believe is
right for the community, but for community members to think, find agreements and
act together on their own accord, which is what is reflected in the action plan and
recommendations emanating from the research.
Social communication requires that it is accepted that communication occurs when
people have something in common. If we wish to communicate with people we need
to understand the language by which they describe their own reality, including
fundamental beliefs, values and concepts.
Effective communication processes and tools do not discriminate against the weaker
and less influential in society, for example people who do not feel confident enough
to attend meetings, who are not literate, who lack transport to get to meetings, or
who live far from main centres. The research team realised that due to the
complexities of these communities and the imbalances of power that exist between
the communities and the mining corporations with high levels of unemployment and
poverty, special care had to be taken to avoid discrimination against the weak and
less influential. The Bench Marks Foundation often paid for transport, or provided
transport and accommodation to participants in the research process.
The research team took also care that any information conveyed should be truthful,
fair and reasonably complete. Information depends on context, and decisions are
conditioned by the perception of available alternatives. However, community access
to information is often hampered by institutions of governance and the mining
corporations. Community access to social and labour plans is restricted and
community participation in meetings with mining corporations is often misconstrued
as community consent.
The demography of each of the identified communities is very different. These
communities are in the case of Luka and Chaneng traditional communities whose
lives have been disrupted first by Apartheid and later by mining. In the case of
Apartheid these communities attempted to protect their land by entering into an
agreement with the Lutheran Church. The Church acquired the title deeds of the
tribal land on which the communities resided with the understanding that once
Apartheid was defeated the church would return the land to the communities.
However, after the end of Apartheid in 1994, the Bafokeng King claimed that the land
belonged to the Bafokeng instead of the BaPhiring and other communities who
entered into an agreement with the Lutheran Church. The Bafokeng‟s claim is
motivated by its desire to control the mineral wealth of the area through agreements
with the mining corporations. The Bafokeng Land Buyer‟s Association is party to a
land claim against the Bafokeng Traditional Authority over the issue of land
Communities complain that the present agreements between Royal Bafokeng
Holdings and the mining corporations suit the mining corporations and the Royal
Bafokeng Authority (RBA), while they experience the degradation of their land and
environment as a result of mining. In contrast, communities resent the prestige RBA
projects such as the World Cup soccer stadium, multiple lane roads to the stadium
and the state of the art Bafokeng tribal offices. The RBA seeks to link ethnic identity
and authority to corporate interest, seeking to circumvent the post colonial state. This
brings out the unresolved issues of different identities imposed by colonialism, where
„natives‟ were assigned ethnic / traditional identities, their legal personalities trapped
within traditional law and authority and a complete denial of political rights and
identity in relation to the colonial administration and state which was the preserve of
colonists or „non-natives‟.
The Apartheid colonial state divided the colonised into „tribes‟ and ruled the country
by breaking it up into a federation of tribal states or Bantustans. This facilitated a
kind of indirect rule and excluded the black majority from civil society and political
rights similar to that described by Mamdani (2005, pp 2 - 18). It subjected the black
majority to the dual authority of the colonial state and the traditional authority. In the
former, there was a clear demarcation between the judiciary, the legislature and the
executive. In the latter, judicial, legislative and executive powers all resided in the
king, chief or headman, who ruled with an iron fist so long as such rule reinforced
rather than threatened the colonial state. Within each Bantustan there was a further
subdivision into sub-tribes; in the case of Bophuthatswana, the Bantustan which was
located more or less within the current North West Province, these „sub tribes‟ were
(Breutz, 1987, pp. 30 - 57). Under Apartheid these tribal/ethnic arrangements
facilitated the supply of cheap labour as the „tribal office‟; it often became a labour
agency/labour broking office for mining or farming capital in South Africa.
Through social communication the research collective also learned about another
complicating factor, namely the labour „import‟ from elsewhere into the area. Thus
Shaft Sinkers, while constructing the Styldrift mine, imported most of its labour from
the gold mining town of Welkom. The residents of Luka, Chaneng and Mafenya
have responded by providing back-yard shacks to accommodate workers receiving a
living-out allowance from mining companies. These villages are also characterised
by high levels of youth unemployment.
Within Luka and Chaneng villages there are other significant contrasts within the
community. There are for example three different sources of knowledge. Firstly the
traditional/tribal/ethnic knowledge that is located in the Kgosi (chief) and Dikgosana
(headmen) located on the Kgotla, or community meeting place. Secondly, religious
knowledge is located in the church, and most people living there are Christian.
Finally, education knowledge resides in the schools (there are many high schools
and primary schools) which the mining companies to their credit support in many
different ways.
Education potentially represents analytical knowledge, the knowledge to observe,
analyse and understand the issues affecting the community. It was also noted earlier
that knowledge is potentially power. Thousands of youth complete their schooling.
However, due to unemployment many youths sit at home despite having
matriculated. These youths are becoming increasingly frustrated at being excluded
from the economy of the area.
These sources of knowledge could easily find expression in social conflict in the
community. These three sources of knowledge can either result in conflict and
competition, or could, if harmonised, lead to cooperation towards a common goal
(Westerman, 2008). The Bench Marks Foundation, in its interaction with these
communities, would suggest that the goal is for the communities to evolve a common
vision of how to realise the best possible deal for the community and the
environment from the dominant economic activity in the area which is mining
(Implats and RBM in partnership with Anglo platinum).
The importance of the action research process in opening up channels for social
communication lies in the fact that it seeks to build the confidence of communities
and their ability to effectively communicate with both the RBA and mining
Through the sharing of life stories, some more intricacies regarding communities and
mining in the area were revealed. Tlhabane is situated on the outskirts of
Rustenburg, it is more of a township than a village - here tribal affiliation is less
important, however the institutions of local government is more visible here than that
of traditional authority. Tlhabane was part of the old Bophuthatswana Bantustan and
represented an example of the „border industry‟ strategy of the Apartheid
government. This strategy gave black workers residential rights in the Bantustan
while they were employed in the „white‟ town of Rustenburg. These workers had no
civil/political rights in the white town. Xstrata borders on Tlhabane, and an informal
settlement developed on the open field between Tlhabane and Xstrata‟s operation.
Tlhabane is characterised by high levels of unemployment, temporary employment
or semi-employment.
Ikemeleng is an informal settlement that has existed for 25 years. Ikemeleng is
associated with Kroondal, a Lutheran Mission Station. When the Spar retail outlet
was established in Kroondal, its employees resided in backyards of white residences
in Kroondal. The Apartheid local government authorities demanded that this
residential arrangement come to an end. A neighbouring farm was bought and the
owners of Spar constructed housing on the land for its black employees. Lonmin and
Aquarius operate in proximity to Ikemeleng.
After 1994, farmers, in anticipation of new land legislation which gave farm workers
land rights on commercial farms, demolished farm worker dwellings and, as
elsewhere in the country, dumped farm workers in squatter camps close to the
nearest town. Ikemeleng became such a dumping spot for farm workers and their
families. After 1994, under pressure from government and the National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM), mining companies began scaling down hostels for mine
workers, this combined with subcontracting (in order to break the power of NUM) and
labour broking saw the introduction of the „living-out allowance.‟ As noted in Policy
Gap 1, the living-out allowance is insufficient for workers to afford proper formal
accommodation and mine workers find themselves renting shacks in informal
The Ikemeleng population is therefore a mixture of mineworkers who originate in
other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries (Lesotho,
Mozambique and Zimbabwe), South Africans who come from other mining areas
such as Welkom and the Eastern Cape, and local people whose ancestors came
from the area. Unlike Luka and Chaneng, Ikemeleng is therefore not an ethnic / tribal
community, and although the residents of this informal settlement have no title deeds
or land rights and do not fall under any ethnic/tribal authority, they fall under the local
and district government.
Interesting „stories‟ regarding Marikana, were also told. Marikana is situated north of
Buffelsfontein to the east of Rustenburg about five kilometres off the N4 „Platinum‟
Toll Road, surrounded by Lonplat‟s Karee operations, Aquarius and Anglo Platinum
along with some „new kids on the block‟ (so called „Juniors‟). It used to be a small
white farming town structured around the Dutch Reformed church. It now resembles
a nineteenth century frontier mining town containing both formal and informal
structures. One section of formal township housing was constructed by Lonplats for
employees. These houses are now being sold to the general public at R70 000 per
unit, according to some key informants. The town has several squatter camps and
informal settlements around the Sterkstroom River. There is also the Marikana RDP
housing complex along the same river in the shadow of Lonplat‟s Karee Number 3
shaft. The roads and infra-structure are generally in a poor and dilapidated state.
The community here falls under the Moses Kotane District Municipality. There is no
tribal authority and it is a community of „natives‟ and „settlers‟ from across South
Africa and SADC.
The research team was keenly aware at all times that any awareness raising
initiative (social communication) should be respectful of local cultural traits and
norms. At all times the PAR collective noted that, while difficult subjects should be
raised, cultural features and beliefs should be treated with respect and not made to
appear to be inadequate or ridiculous. To this end, the research team met with the
Dikgosana (traditional authority leaders) in Chaneng and explained to them the
purpose of the project and the desire to cooperate with them in the future towards
dealing with the findings and recommendations of the research. The Bench Marks
Foundation has also been involved in training community monitors in all the villages,
an initiative that also enhanced the effectiveness of social communication. To train a
few individuals in crucial new skills might be valuable, be it in reporting or research.
Most importantly, the social communication opportunities represented by the action
research process, offered plenty of occasions for dialogue and discussion, and the
opportunity for everyone to express their own views, to ask questions and to
disagree. This represents the main difference between social communication and
normal information, education and training initiatives and information gathering
processes. While in conventional processes information flows from the sender to the
receiver of messages, in social communication information flows in all directions and
collective knowledge, awareness and skills are actually generated through social
dialogue and debate.
Taking pictures
Members of the PAR collective were asked to take photographs (with cameras
supplied by the Bench Marks Foundation) of contentious and relevant issues relating
to mining impact. The photographs were then used in group discussions, allowing
the group to see things through the eyes of the photographer and then helping him
or her to verbalise the issues while the team captured the information. This allowed
the research team to see through the eyes of the community what they perceive the
major issues to be reported on. All the photographs in this report were taken by
community monitors and community members from the respective villages and small
towns reviewed.
Participatory mapping
Each village was provided with Google Earth photographs of their village. These
maps give a bird‟s eye view of each village and the relation of the village to
surrounding mining operations. The photographs were then, during workshops,
projected onto a wall, and each community then drew a map (to allow for the
recycling of paper, the drawings were made on the back of old election posters or
calendars). These rough maps of the geographic area under review allowed each
community to register its concerns regarding the impact of mining on their land, their
environment and their health and safety. This once more allowed the research team
to see things from a community perspective, and minimised the literacy and lack of
adequate education barriers.
Towards the end of the research process, the participants were able to move on to
relatively complicated exercises, such as locating the areas most affected by dust
relative to mining operations, waste facilities or trucking routes, or identifying cracked
housing relative to mining operations and blasting. Where there are opencast mines
in close proximity to communities, the cracked houses will increase closer to the pit,
and reduce as you move away from it. Unfortunately where there is shaft mining with
horizontal tunnels running under the community, things become more difficult and
communities would need to have access to the underground maps of mines and the
seismic layout of the geology of the area. Mining corporations are not transparent
enough for communities to have access to such plans. Yet, when communities report
cracked housing, „independent assessors‟ paid for by the mine blame poor
Communities have observed that houses constructed with the same building
materials and of same style and architecture in non-mining areas do not crack, which
provides much food for thought. The maps become useful in identifying high crime
areas, location of shebeens, clinics, schools, areas where sex workers operate and
where there are dangerous road and rail crossings.
Photo 1: Some community research participants in Marikana pose in front of community maps
Story writing
Bobby Marie, Eric Mokuoa and Brown Motsau have over the last three years already
done extensive work with community monitors in this regard. The Bench Marks
Foundation created a blog site and a Facebook site where monitors, members of the
community, students and academics may all participate and discuss mining and
community issues. This allows more confident members of the monitoring teams and
communities to debate and discuss issues of concern relating to mining in
communities. These preliminary exercises allowed the research team not only to
prepare the community for the actual research, but also to identify key actors to comanage the action research process with the Bench Marks Foundation, the NorthWest University and the broader community, as well as establishing mutually trusted
channels of communication.
Road Map: Rustenburg Review and Community Action Research Programme:
January 2011
Literature review
February 2011
Questionnaires to corporations
19 February 2011
Workshop between BMF and monitors on PAR process
2 April 2011
Workshop between BMF and monitors on research tools: maps,
photographs, stories, etc.
14 May 2011
Each village: Reported back on progress registered since 15
April; submitted Google maps indicating spatial location of
identified issues relating to the impact of mining; and submitted
sets of photos taken of visible impact of mining
15 May 2011 – 2 June 2011
Research coordinator collated reports into single draft
community report.
3 – 5 June 2011
Research coordinator visited each village and verified village
15 June 2011
Draft community report. Villages filled in academic
June 2011
The questionnaires were received back from corporations and
review of corporations‟ annual reports and reports to society.
16 June 2011 – 14 July 2011
Integration of community report and academic report.
15 July 2011
Final community report signoff by villages.
16 July 2011 – 15 August 2011 Community, BMF, NWU action plan
16 – 30 August 2011
Profiling of the personalities of the corporations under review.
September 2011 onwards
Writing up the report, follow-up visits to the villages to double
check perceptions and conclusions on the following dates:
25 – 30 November 2011; 8 – 9 December 2011; 16 – 20
January 2012; 31 January 2012 ; 3 February 2012
Fourth Phase: Review of Policy Gap 1
Finally, the intention of this research is also to review Policy Gap 1 (see Objectives,
Point 1.2), and establish whether and how the CSR practises of specific mining
companies changed since the publication of The Policy Gap: A Review of the
Corporate Social Responsibility Programmes of the Platinum Mining Industry in the
North West Province (Bench Marks Foundation, 2007). An in-depth study was made
of the CSR and sustainability reports of all the companies. Except for the reports,
this part of the research was also informed by the community action research,
especially regarding the experienced personality of the companies under review.
Seeing that one of the objectives of the study is to identify and analyse the different
corporate personalities, a theoretical orientation and contextualisation regarding
„corporate personality‟ will be given in the next section.
The corporation
Bruce Welling, after reviewing corporate law in the USA, Canada and Britain, comes
to the conclusion that corporations either (i) are people in law, or (ii) have the legal
rights and liberties of humans. People, and anyone with human rights and liberties,
cannot be owned. He rejects that a corporation is a „shareholder focused entity‟: it is
just a legal person, focused on its own self-interests. He therefore rejects any
assumptions that a corporation has „stakeholders,‟ and that it has any corporate
social responsibility (Welling, 2009).
Milton Friedman, arguing from an economic rather than legal perspective in an
interview with Joel Bakan, rejects the CSR notion of a triple bottom line and argues
that the only responsibility a corporation has is towards its shareholders, and that
CSR is in fact theft of the funds that shareholders have invested towards realising a
profit on their investment. The only circumstance under which CSR would be
legitimate according to Friedman, is when the corporation practicing it is being
„insincere‟, that is when by practicing CSR the corporation is able to maximise
(Bakan, 2004, p. 34).
Sara Ann Bernstein (2010, pp 19 - 117), a pro-business lobbyist heading the Centre
for Development and Enterprise in Johannesburg, argues that the proponents of
CSR are the vanquished leftist remnants of the Cold War, who have sought new
means and ways of curbing private business, after the war against private property
was defeated. Her book was praised by numerous pro-business academics and
corporate CEO‟s, including Bobby Godsell and Nicky Oppenheimer.
If the corporation is a legal person with only one responsibility, which is to act in its
own self-interest, one would assume that all other legal persons also have the same
rights and that therefore, natural persons and ordinary citizens also have only one
responsibility and that is to act in their own self-interest. Clearly, where all actions
are defined in terms of self-interest, society would quickly descent into anarchic
chaos. If it is assumed that ordinary biological persons also have responsibilities,
responsibilities defined by the constitution of the land and all the laws and
regulations emanating therefrom, then clearly corporations should be equally
responsible. Our responsibilities as ordinary citizens go well beyond the law, for
where citizens perceive the state to be unjust, oppressive, irresponsible and
discriminatory, they also have a responsibility to challenge the state and overthrow it
if necessary.
Thus, the citizens of Italy and Germany acted responsibly when they joined the
resistance against Fascism and Nazism and sought to overthrow these draconian
regimes. On the other hand, citizens who actively supported these regimes in their
private capacity by serving in the German army or government in senior and decision
making positions, later had to face justice predicated on international law at the
Nuremburg trials. What is interesting is that the corporations who actively financed
and supported Fascism and Nazism with the means to be oppressive, exploitative
and discriminatory, and to commit genocide were never called to account for their
actions, or the profits they made from these systems. Did these corporations act in
their best self-interest by supporting Hitler and Mussolini? The same question arose
with the end of Apartheid and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; how can
those corporations that benefited from Apartheid, and who refused to heed the call
for sanctions against Apartheid be held accountable?
The Bench Marks Foundation asserts that corporations do have a responsibility
towards sustainable development that empowers local communities by promoting:
The quality of life and enhancing the environment;
Productive employment on a broad scale;
Meeting basic fundamental human needs;
Gender sensitivity particularly at a leadership level;
Care for those infected with and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic; and
Pollution-free production (Seoka, 2003, Foreword, Policy Gap 1).
The Bench Marks Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility
Clearly, there is a strong moral case for corporate social and environmental
responsibility just as any other person is required to be law-abiding and responsible,
so corporations should also be expected to behave responsibly. Which is exactly
why the Bench Marks Foundation developed the policy document, Principles for
Global Corporate Responsibility: Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance
(Bench Marks Foundation, 2003), and is currently in the process of developing
Church Leaders Call in support of socially responsible investment. Where natural
persons begin to behave irresponsibly, legal or social sanction is applied to ensure
that the individual‟s behaviour changes, and once more becomes socially
The table below represents a summary of the Bench Marks Principles for Global
Corporate Responsibility, indicating the areas of this CSR tool used in this research.
Table 1: The Bench Marks Principles
Focus areas
Wider Business
National Communities
Local Communities
Indigenous Communities
Resource Extraction
The Employed Persons
Financial Integrity
Ethical Integrity
Corporate Governance
Joint Ventures / Partnerships/
Customers and Consumers
The Employed –
The Employed –
Health and Safety
Women in the
Minority Groups
Persons with
Child Labour
Forced Labour
Covered in the
(Bench Marks Foundation, 2003)
The corporate personality approach
In order to predict individual behaviour better, the science of psychology evolved so
as to better understand individual behaviour. Social psychology developed in order
to understand the behaviour of the individual in society and the influence of society
on the psyche of the individual. Noting that, in spite of globalisation, social contexts
vary, therefore social psychology might be different in a Third World context from
what it is in a First World context, informed by different social norms, culture and
institutional values and belief systems (Segal, 1983, pp 105 - 129).
Figure 1 below, shows the impact of a mining project on a traditional community, and
the acculturation that follows, and hints at the potential divisions and conflicts such a
development can have on the community, fracturing it along age, gender and
traditional versus modernising lines.
Figure 1: A model of acculturation that reflects the social psychological impact of
developments like mining in traditional societies on the individual (Segal, 1983, p. 118)
Acquired behavioural dispositions and other behaviours, verbal and non-verbal
Given that within the dominant global economic system the corporation is assigned a
legal persona, it is expected that a legal person must not only behave in terms of
self-interest, but also behave responsibly in relation to broader society and that in its
actions it would not in any way harm the collective social interest. Therefore, a
psychological personality might be assigned to corporations and allow us to judge
their actions in terms of psychological or personality traits.
According to Babiak and Hare (2006, pp. 17 - 34) every person has three personality
aspects: the private personality aspect, the public personality aspect, and the
experienced personality aspect, as illustrated in Figure 2.
Figure 2: The three aspects of personality
This diagram was developed by the research team on the basis of their reading of
Babiak and Hare, 2006.
A person‟s private or inner personality is “…made up of our thoughts, judgements,
drives, needs, preferences, values and emotions. Our private self also includes the
products of our imagination, including fantasies, hopes and ambitions, all of which
are idealized visions of who we are and who we want to be... we believe that these
positive self-perceptions represent who we are... and we can get very upset if
someone suggests they are not true” (Babiak & Hare, 2006, p. 69).
The corporation as private personality generates vision and mission statements
about how it perceives itself, and previous research by the Bench Marks Foundation
revealed that corporations also get very upset if it is suggested that the idealised
self-perception of the corporation might not be a true or accurate reflection of the
state of affairs. The private self also includes personal characteristics that we do not
like and which we do not want others to see.
Corporations are the same; they make employees sign non-disclosure agreements
and grade communications according to whether or not they are for public or internal
consumption. For ordinary persons these might include harmful things we do to other
people, for example illicit or violent thoughts and fantasies, insecurities, selfishness
and greed, anger, rudeness, laziness, etc. With corporate personalities this might
include cutting costs and producing substandard products, paying employees
starvation wages, using child or forced labour, evading taxes, providing false
information to shareholders, deliberately transgressing laws and regulations,
nepotism, etc.
The public persona refers to how you want those around you to see you
(Babiak & Hare, 2006, p. 70). According to Babiak and Hare the public personality is
“…a subset of the private self – a carefully edited version... of your personality that
you reveal to others in order to influence how they see (and judge) you”. The public
persona of the corporation refers to what Naomi Klein calls the corporation‟s “desire
to be loved” (Klein, 2005). The description of the notion of „public persona‟ can also
sociologically be linked to Charles Horton Cooley‟s concept of the „looking glass self‟;
the individual‟s perception of how he or she is perceived by others – like a mirror
reflection. As with ordinary persons, corporations try to maximise the positive things
people see, while minimising the negatives. However, despite their best efforts to
control what is revealed to the public, they do occasionally reveal negative private
personality traits, and with modern technology and the social media it becomes
increasingly difficult to hide things from the public. Corporations use advertising,
reports to their shareholders, and in South Africa, reports to society or sustainability
reports to shape their public image.
The third aspect of personality refers to the reputation or experienced aspect. This
refers to how the public experiences, views and describes the corporation. Different
categories of people would experience the corporation differently. Shareholders
might be happy with large profits and dividends paid out. Members of the public
living in close proximity with the corporation may be happy or unhappy with the
impact of their corporate neighbour, depending on whether it externalises the costs
of its negative impacts to them, or bears these costs by itself, thus cleaning up any
mess it makes.
A well-balanced person is one in which these three aspects of personality are in
harmony, the psychologically ill personality is the one in which these three aspects of
personality are contradictory; the one fails to match the other. The person might be
schizophrenic in that he or she has three entirely different personalities. The person
might be psychopathic in that he or she does not care about how he or she is
perceived. The person might be paranoid in that they are extremely sensitive about
public perception and very secretive and defensive about their private personality,
etc. This also holds true for corporations.
The mining operations under review occur within a defined geographic space, the
Bojanala District of the North West Province. This district is faced with its own
problems and challenges, many of them related to the fact that it is the prime
platinum mining area in South Africa and the world. It is therefore necessary to give
a detailed overview of issues that affect this district, before proceeding to the findings
of the report in terms of the private and public image and experienced personality of
the corporations under review.
Background on the Bojanala District
Policy Gap 1 covered platinum mines in the Bojanala District of the North West
Province. This review worked with communities and mines in the same district.
Figure 3: Map showing Bojanala District in the North West Province (Source: Demarcation
Figure 4: Where platinum is found in South Africa. The "Western Limb" falls within the Bojanala
District (Aquarius, 2010).
It is important that any CSR programme introduced into an area as heavily mined as
the Bojanala District, takes into consideration the challenges faced by the people
residing in that district. It is also important for operational managers to have a clear
understanding of their neighbours, and the communities on whose land the mining
operation occurs. It is, however, important to note that CSR, human resource and
environmental managers often feel that they are last in line of the priorities set by
mining corporations, and that profits and core business issues often outweigh social
and environmental responsibilities. A senior Bench Marks Foundation researcher
was told by an Angloplat Human Resource (HR) manager after a meeting with the
HR division at one of its Rustenburg operations that, “I wish our general manager at
this operation had as much knowledge about the local community as you have....”
The employment profile of the District
The Bojanala District, despite being the location of some of the richest platinum
mines in the world, suffers from high levels of unemployment:
Figure 5: Graph showing
(Treasury, 2011, p. 24)
Employment by age group
Figure 6: Graph showing employment status by age group in Bojanala District
(Treasury, 2011, p. 26)
Mining plays an important role in the economy of the region, and is the district‟s
major source of employment. Most of the mining activities are concentrated in a
band (the Merensky Reef) which stretches from west of the Pilanesberg, southwards
through the Bafokeng area, and parallel to the Magaliesberg towards Marikana and
Brits in the east. The mines along this belt have spawned many industries which
manufacture supplementary products. Not only are chrome, lead, marble, granite
and slate produced in the area, but the two largest platinum mines in the world are
found in the Bojanala District (Treasury, 2011, p. 28).
Although the mining sector is Bojanala‟s main source of employment, many of those
working on the mines are migrant labourers from other parts of the country.
Unemployment in the economically active age group in the district thus stands at
16.75%, with the highest rates found in Moses Kotane and Moretele Municipal areas.
Poverty is severe, particularly in the rural areas. A total of 67% of households earn
R1 600 per month or less. Many of these indigent households are headed by women
(Treasury, 2011, p. 28).
The services and infrastructure situation in the Bojanala District
While access to potable water in the Bojanala District hovers at around 80%, the
area‟s Municipal Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2011-2012 notes that the
sanitation backlog figures are much higher (nearly 3 times more) than the water
backlog in the district. The total number of households receiving below basic level of
service is 226 477. The largest backlogs are concentrated in Moses Kotane (74 237
households), Moretele (56 815 households) and Rustenburg local municipalities. The
figures also include households using buckets as a form of sanitation, and those that
do not have sanitation at all, using old traditional dry latrines. The total number of
households receiving a basic level of service is 26 162 (Treasury, 2011, p. 36).
Key issues and challenges on water and sanitation services facing the Bojanala
Lack of bulk infrastructure to unlock development potential;
Mines‟ disproportionate consumption of potable water;
Influx caused by the mines;
Poor sanitation in predominantly rural and tribal areas;
Some areas cannot be developed due to shallow mining and environmental
Illegal land invasion/squatting;
Lack of capacity in other local municipalities to execute their function as
Water Service Authorities;
The Bojanala District is largely dependent on water from sources external to
the district (totalling approximately 33 595 mega liter per year (mℓ/year));
The overall water consumption within the District is likely to increase by at
least 65Mℓ/day over the next 5 years;
Deteriorating water quality in Hartebeespoort Dam and Crocodile River;
Capacity and levels of maintenance of sewage treatment plants in the district
and potential impact on surface- and groundwater sources;
Potential impact of the extensive use of unimproved pit latrines in rural areas
on the quality of groundwater sources which are used extensively as source
of potable water supply in these areas;
Required resources, especially budget to eradicate the estimated backlog of
households without basic level of water and sanitation;
Provision of water and sanitation to schools and clinics with no or inadequate
Mushrooming informal settlements and reliance on pit latrines are
contributing to elevate levels of nitrates in the ground- and surface water;
Collapsing sewage systems in townships where there are flush toilets
contribute to the deterioration of surface water including the appearance of
Bilharzia in streams around Marikana (Treasury, 2011, pp. 37 - 38).
Given the above-mentioned importance of water, it is important to note the impact
that mining operations have on water throughout the lifespan of a mine (Table 2).
Table 2: The impact of mining on water throughout the life of a mine
Mine Phase
Typical Activities
(drilling, exploration
pits, adits or shafts)
Water Use
Water for exploration
Feasibility studies
including further
Water for drilling,
dust control
Construction (mine
infrastructure, shaft
or open cast pit,
processing plant,
tailings storage and
water treatment
Geotechnical drilling,
dust control
Development and
Drilling riggs
crisscrossing the
veldt leave tracks
that lead to soil
erosion and donga
Identification of
groundwater aquifers
that pose danger to
underground mining;
draining of aquifers
or cementation of
aquifers; creation of
well fields to drop the
groundwater table
and ensure dry
mining conditions in
open cast pits
Pollution by means
of acid, diesel, oil
and other chemical
Mine Phase
Closure and
Typical Activities
Mineral Processing
Water Use
Process water added
during size reduction
and used in mineral
extraction process.
Dust control.
Smelters release
SO2 into the
Pollution by means
of chemicals used in
mineral extraction
such as acids in the
case of copper,
mercury and cyanide
as in the case of
gold; contributes to
acid rain (impacts on
Chemical reactions
as minerals in
wastes come into
contact with air and
water – acid mine
drainage (AMD);
heavy metal
pollution; Sulphide
and Nitrate pollution
in the case of
platinum mining
The use of „brownwater‟ (semiprocessed sewage
water) has health
implications for mine
workers and impact
on natural water
sources; dewatering
cause wells and
boreholes of
consumers to dry up
Coal mining has a
huge impact on
water in the form of
AMD; power
generation has a
huge impact in terms
of SO2 into the air
and acid rain
Dust control leads to
pollution of surfaceand groundwater
Land subsidence,
sinkholes in the case
of tunnel mining, and
the impact of tunnels
that fill up with
groundwater and the
development of
Development of
waste facilities
(waste rock, tailings
Process water for
tailings slurry; some
water retained within
tailings and is not
recycled to process
plant; dust control
Underground and pit
Dewatering the work
area to make it safe.
Cooling for
equipment such as
rock drills and
machinery; water
used in the
ventilation and air
cooling systems;
dust control
Energy consumption
Electricity supplied
by coal fired power
stations consumes
huge quantities of
water in the
generation of steam
Product transport
Low, usually
transported dry; dust
Water lost during
long term tailings
Dismantling of site
infrastructure, site
Mine Phase
Typical Activities
Water Use
funnels where pits for
open cast mining
used to be impacts
on ground- and
surface water; run-off
and seepage from
tailings and rock
waste continues to
impact on surfaceand groundwater
Housing backlog in the Bojanala District
The 2011-2012 Bojanala District‟s IDP developed with the assistance of the National
Treasury, shows that the most significant challenges regarding housing backlogs are
concentrated in the Rustenburg and Madibeng local municipalities. These two areas
have both the highest proportional and actual number of households residing in
informal dwellings. Within the Rustenburg Local Municipality‟s geographical area of
responsibility, it is estimated that as much as 41% of households are residing in
informal dwellings (27% in informal settlements and 14% in backyards) and
approximately 33% in the case of Madibeng (26% in informal settlements and 7.7%
in backyards). In all three the other municipalities the proportions of households
residing in informal structures are between 15% and 16% (Treasury, 2011, p. 52).
The total remaining housing backlog by 2005 was approximately 101 114 units, the
bulk of which is located in the Rustenburg Local Municipality (49 034) and the
Madibeng Local Municipality (22 826). These figures also indicate that the progress
with housing delivery in the District between 2000 and 2005 has been modest with
approximately 22 272 houses built over this period. The total financial requirements
to address the remaining backlog would be a significant amount in excess of
R2.5 billion (Treasury, 2011, p. 53).
One of the key aspects that impacts on developmental activities within the Bojanala
District Municipality is land ownership, with approximately 32% of the total large
areas of land under custodianship of various traditional authorities.
The figures for traditional/communal ownership range from as high as 73% in the
Moretele Local Municipality, 50.8% in the Moses Kotane Local Municipality and
approximately 37% in the Rustenburg Local Municipality area. Both economic growth
and investment, poverty alleviation and the meeting of basic needs are inextricably
linked to land ownership, and it will thus be necessary to establish a sound working
relationship between traditional authorities and other government structures within
the district and mining corporations (Treasury, 2011, p. 53). The mining corporations
operating in the Bojanala District area claim to contribute greatly to community
development through their relationship and agreement with traditional authorities.
However, the information contained in this profile indicates that much of the district‟s
human development and service delivery problems occur within areas under the
control of traditional authorities where there is also a high concentration of mining
The key issues relating to housing development in the Bojanala District include the
Large housing backlog of approximately 101 000 units in the district with a
significant proportion concentrated in the Rustenburg Local Municipality
(approximately 49 000 units);
A modest total of approximately 22 000 houses was completed between
2000 and 2005 in the district;
Large and growing informal settlements in certain parts of the district (for
example Rustenburg area);
Illegal occupation of land and unlawful evictions in rural areas;
Unavailability of bulk infra-structure to support housing development in
rapidly growing areas (for example Rustenburg);
Implementation of housing and land reform projects without the provision of
complimentary social and economic facilities;
Absence of a clearly formulated district wide housing delivery and land
reform strategy;
Lack of clear direction and strategy with regards to dealing with housing
demand in rural and farming areas;
Limited capacity at local government sphere to support housing delivery and
land reform processes (Treasury, 2011, p. 53);
Mine company housing policies greatly aggravate the housing challenges
faced in the Bojanala District. The living-out allowance contributes to the
mushrooming of informal settlements and backyard shacks. Substandard
houses built by mining companies for their employees crack as a result of
blasting and poor quality. One mining company in the Marikana area even
relocated farm workers to a „blikkiesdorp‟; and
A complete disrespect for the private space of residents in local
Photo 2: Complete disregard for the living space of members of local communities. A shaft
ventilation system erected in Chaneng, in between community houses; residents were not
consulted prior to the construction.
Photo 3: ‘Blikkiesdorp’ for relocated farm workers in Marikana
Photo 4: Current housing stock in villages and townships is being ripped apart by blasting
and tremors
Education facilities in the Bojanala District
The education facilities are reflected in Table 3.
Table 3: Education facilities in the Bojanala District by type (Source: Treasury, 2011).
Type of Educational Institution
Primary Schools
Intermediate/Middle Schools (Gde 5 – 7)
Secondary Schools
Combined Schools
Technical Colleges
According to the 2007 Community Survey Report, the majority of the population in
the district out of a total population of 1 268 618 falls within the category of 20-39
years at 34.9%, followed by the category of 19 years and younger at 36.5%. The
36.5% of the19 years and younger category informs us that a significant number of
young people (currently younger than 19 years of age) will be entering the labour
market over the next 5-10 years, and would be seeking employment opportunities. It
also signifies a specific need for social amenities such as schools and health
services (Treasury, 2011).
The educational status of the population older than 20 years of age indicates that the
Bojanala District labour market is characterised by low skills levels. As much as
15.1% of the population older than 20 years have not received any form of schooling
and a further 19.7% only some primary education. These figures imply that nearly
35% of the total adult population can be regarded as functionally illiterate
(Treasury, 2011, p. 21).
Conversely, only 20.1% of the adult population has completed their high school
education and only 5.5% has obtained some form of tertiary education
(Treasury, 2011).
Considering the constant refrain of big business in South Africa, including mining
companies, that the country is experiencing a skills shortage, one would expect
massive investment in education as a primary concern for CSR programmes. It is
interesting to note that there is no mining technical college in Rustenburg. Violent
community protests in Marikana, Chaneng and Kroondal/Ikemeleng over the last six
months of 2011 indicate a high level of youth discontent with lack of education,
training and employment opportunities. After carefully following and monitoring the
education and employment situation, the Bench Marks Foundation is not surprised
that communities have erupted and predict that more such conflict situations can be
All the mining corporations under review contribute to the construction of classroom
blocks and in some cases to feeding schemes. However, this is often done in a
haphazard manner. For example, a company will build a fully equipped computer
laboratory for a school only to find that the Department of Education considers the
employment of a computer teacher at the school to be an unfunded mandate. The
computer laboratory is then simply locked up and the equipment stands and gathers
dust while the software becomes outdated.
Health and HIV/AIDS in the Bojanala District
It is extremely difficult to find reliable, up to date statistics for HIV/AIDS infection and
prevalence by district or town in South Africa. According to the District Health
Barometer (2005/06), Bojanala District Municipality has the third highest HIV/AIDS
prevalence of all the districts in South Africa, with an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 35.3%
in women attending antenatal clinics in 2005/06. Only 37.7% of all pregnant women
were tested for HIV/AIDS despite the very high prevalence rate.
On average, 40% of all deaths in the North West Province are related to HIV/AIDS.
When this figure is divided into various age groups, the impact of HIV/AIDS becomes
more apparent, especially in children under 4 years of age (70 per 1 000 births) and
in adults between 15 and 44 years of age. Among children younger than 4 years,
over 40% of deaths among males and over 43% of deaths among females were
caused by HIV/AIDS. In adults between 15 and 44 years, which also forms a
significant component of the economically active population of the North West
Province, these figures were even higher at over 43% of deaths among males and
over 63% of deaths among females (Medical Research Council, 2006).
It is however possible that these figures may be higher, as not all deaths related to
HIV/AIDS are recorded as being due to the pandemic (North West Provincial
Government: Department of Agriculture, 2008). Medical staff, such as nurses at
clinics and doctors in the Bojanala District, speculate that as much as 60% of deaths
could be due to the pandemic in the area.
There are close, well established causal links between HIV/AIDS, TB and the
reliance of mining on a highly mobile migrant labour system. David Mametja, the
head of the National TB Control Programme, noted that there is „a silent accident‟
happening in South African mines daily, where deaths from TB far outstrip those
from workplace accidents. Professor Gavin Churchyard makes the point that “[w]e [in
South Africa] are dealing with a highly mobile population in the era of HIV…”,
because miners have regular interaction with the wider communities in which they
live (Parker, 2012).
The Bench Marks Foundation has warned in Policy Gap 1 in 2007 that the
employment practices and housing policies of mining companies are contributing to
the failure of the provincial, district and local governments to bring HIV/AIDS under
control. This continues to be the case. Particularly disturbing are reports from
informants that there are cases of migrants bringing in young women from rural
villages in Mozambique and using them as sex slaves to earn extra income. It is
claimed that such women do not have the required travel or residential documents,
and that they cannot speak any of the local languages. It is alleged that they are
locked up in shacks from where off-duty mine workers pay the owner of the shack for
sex with the woman kept inside. Interestingly, this community concern is supported
by the 2010 report of the International Organisation on Migration, according to which
there is “[a] practice termed „ngoanatsela‟ has been reported to take place among
Basotho mineworkers coming to work in South Africa. The practice entails bringing a
young girl from home as a „girlfriend‟, but in effect making her available to a group of
mineworkers coming from the same region. Frequently these young girls are
unaware of what lies in wait for them once they reach the mine, but have no
recourse for escape in a foreign country where they may not know the language or
how to seek help” (Interviews with former mineworkers in Lesotho, 2006)
(International Organisation on Migration, 2010).
Another disturbing phenomenon that is allegedly taking place in communities in
proximity to the mines is that of mothers „renting‟ out their daughters to mine
workers. The high unemployment rate amongst local people and the exceptionally
low income of families (see the report on Luka community below) make sex work
one of the many survival strategies of households (information obtained from
monitors and women in communities during numerous field visits).
Comments on the Bojanala District Profile
Clearly, any mining operation operating in a particular geographic space would
design its CSR programme around the following:
Mitigating its own impact on its immediate operational boundary as well as
its wider social, economic and environmental footprint; and, where such
impact is unavoidable, allowing the surrounding population to meaningfully
participate in committees created to mitigate such impact, including disaster
management committees, health and safety committees, environmental
management committees, mine closure committees and recruitment
Not externalising any social, environmental or economic costs of its
operations to the surrounding population or structures of governance and
Contributing meaningfully to the development of social, economic and
environmental development and sustainability of the region, district or local
geographical area, including the development of infrastructure, health and
education facilities accessible to all;
Seek prior and informed consent for developments at every stage of the life
of the mine and accepting the right of communities to refuse;
Meaningfully compensate communities and individuals for any damage or
loss they may suffer as a result of the mining activity; and
Accept responsibility and liability for any unintended consequences of mine
development or corporate policies.
Many of the challenges faced by communities living in the Bojanala District are
directly and indirectly attributable to mining in the area. The research findings on
specific companies will assess if the mining corporations in Bojanala District are
addressing these challenges through their CSR programmes or not. In the next
section, findings regarding specific companies, based on different reports as well as
the questionnaires, will be reported.
Anglo Platinum
Private and public personalities
Anglo Platinum in its own words: Operational and Product Profile: OUR
Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats) is listed on the JSE Limited and is the sole
listed entity for the Group. The Company no longer has a secondary listing on the London
Stock Exchange or depositary receipts for the Company's shares on the Brussels Bourse.
Amplats is a subsidiary of Anglo American plc, which holds a 79,72% share in Amplats.
The word 'Group' in this report, however, refers only to Amplats and its major, wholly
owned subsidiaries, primarily Amplats Management Services (Proprietary) Limited;
Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited (RPM); Twickenham Platinum Mine; Lebowa Platinum
Mines Limited (until 30 June 2009); and all other subsidiaries.
The Group is also engaged in joint ventures and partnerships. It has governance structures
in place with its joint-venture partners, and representation on the boards and board
committees of its joint-venture partners, details of which are included in governance. The
Group's smelting and refining operations are wholly owned through RPM and are situated
in South Africa. These operations treat concentrates from wholly owned subsidiaries and
joint ventures.
In Zimbabwe, the Group is developing the Unki Platinum Mine, and our policies and
standard procedures apply to the management of the Unki project, which is expected to
come into production in the latter part of 2010.
Amplats is the world's leading primary producer of platinum and accounts for about 40% of
newly mined production globally. It also produces other platinum group metals (PGMs)
including palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. Nickel, copper, other base
metals and gold are also produced.
Some 44% of the world's platinum is used in auto catalysts, which are designed to reduce
noxious emissions from vehicles. The demand for auto catalysts declined by 27% in 2009,
to its lowest level since 2002. (A more detailed market review appears in the 2009 Annual
The Group is firmly committed to the development of PGM markets and, in cooperation
with Johnson Matthey and others, researches and promotes new products using PGMs,
particularly in environmental applications. Amplats created the Platinum Guild International
(PGI) in 1975 and provides funding for its jewellery development efforts. The Group is
active in other industry organisations, including the International Platinum Association,
which is an advocacy forum for producers and fabricators, and attends to sustainabilityrelated matters on behalf of the industry via its Safety & Sustainable Development
In her Chairman‟s statement, Cynthia Carol praises the Anglo Platinum corporation
for a “…marked safety improvement..., good cost management and significant
improvement in productivity” (Carol, 2010, p. 3). The company‟s vision is to be “…the
premier company in finding, mining, processing and marketing PGM‟s for the
maximum benefit of all our stakeholders”. Clearly the corporation would like the
public to believe that it is serious about CSR, and it lists eleven different categories
of stakeholders. Under the community category, three different Municipalities are
listed and under Bojanala District Municipality, fifteen villages and towns are
recognised, including one of the villages under review in this research, namely
Anglo Platinum indicates its desire to improve its understanding of society “…and our
place within it, through active engagement with those around us. We recognise the
value of partnerships in building capacities, improving governance and promoting
sustainable development”. Mr Neville Nicolau, the CEO of Anglo Platinum, reports
that the company has “…achieved a number of noteworthy milestones in 2010 in
support of our social and labour plans and in compliance with the Minerals and
Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA):
12% women in mining compared with the 10% requirement;
50% historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSA‟s) in management
positions, compared to the 40% requirement;
HDSA procurement of 40%, up from 39%, equating to R8.2 billion spent with
HDSA suppliers in 2010; and
Plans to build 20 000 houses in the next 10 years” (Nicoleau, 2010).
In addition to this, Anglo Platinum announced its intentions to “…roll out a multibillion Rand Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) initiative to benefit communities
surrounding its four major mining operations... equal to between 1% and 2% of the
group‟s market value... This transaction is intended to provide the beneficiary
communities with long-term equity ownership in Anglo Platinum” (Radebe, 2011).
The Chairman of the Board states that “…our ultimate ambition is to make a
meaningful and sustainable contribution so that these communities thrive well
beyond the life of our mining operations” (Carol, 2010, p. 4).
The company report, unlike their 2006-2007 report, also refers to the reassignment,
where possible, of people who have suffered disabling injuries and gives figures for
those boarded as a result of injury or illness. Anglo Platinum has also managed to
significantly reduce fatalities at its South African operations (Anglo Platinum, 2010).
Anglo Platinum is also taking a lead in significantly reducing the number of subcontractors in its employment from 14 014 in 2009 to 5 513 in 2010
(Anglo Platinum, 2010, p. 41). The financial crisis of 2008/09 saw a dramatic drop in
platinum prices and massive retrenchments at all mines which could account for the
drop in the use of sub-contracted labour.
With reference to the environment, Anglo Platinum reports that all operations are
challenged by the supplying of water noting that “[t]he company has a
comprehensive water strategy. We remain committed to minimising water use and to
reusing and recycling. We have collaborated with Government; industry and other
affected stakeholders to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy to address the
economic, social and environmental issues related to water availability in Limpopo
Province. This agreement now brings fresh running water to in excess of 1.9 million
people in several communities in the province for the very first time. It also secures
our water rights on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex while ensuring our
consumption does not adversely affect water availability to communities and ecosystems” (Carol, 2010, p. 4). Ms Carol fails to mention that the damming of water in
Limpopo represents the commodification of water to communities that previously had
free access to river-, well- and borehole water.
Concerning water Anglo Platinum found:
High concentrations of nitrates, chlorides and sulphates in ground- and
surface water around their mine tailings and rock dumps;
Biodiversity and rehabilitation action plans have not been fully implemented
at all tailings facilities; and
(Anglo Platinum, 2010, p. 120).
In the Rustenburg area, Anglo Platinum admits to exceeding permit emission levels
of SO2 and showing a significant increase from 5.3 kiloton (Kt) in 2009 to 7.5 Kt in
2010. This was attributed to the shutdown of the Waterfall smelter for maintenance
(Anglo Platinum, 2010, pp. 110-111). Anglo Platinum also admits to the need for
increased dust suppression measures in the Rustenburg area.
These admissions imply that Anglo Platinum once more falls short with regards to
the Bench Marks Foundation‟s policy document, Principles for Global Corporate
Responsibility: Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance (Bench Marks
Foundation, 2003), particularly the sections of the document that refer to Ecosystems and Resource Extraction.
The experienced personality of Anglo Platinum
Clearly Anglo Platinum sees itself outside of the Friedman, Bernstein, Segal school
of thought. This school holds that a corporation only has responsibilities towards its
shareholders (Friedman), has no stakeholders other than those who fund it
(Bernstein), or finally that no one has any claims on a corporation, not even its
shareholders; a corporation is responsible only to itself and is driven by its own selfinterest. Is Anglo Platinum doing CSR honestly or dishonestly, as Friedman argues
that the only legitimate CSR is dishonest CSR, when the corporation is actually lying
to the public? The Bench Marks Foundation would like to believe that the company is
being honest and sincere in its reporting. However the research team perceived a
number of gaps and would be amiss if we fail to raise the following concerns. WOMEN IN MINING
While the achievements in exceeding the Mining Charter target for the employment
of women in mining is an improvement by Anglo Platinum, the Bench Marks
Foundation is concerned about the conditions under which this employment occurs.
These concerns apply to all mining companies in the District. In discussions with the
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members and shop stewards in the area, it
was noted that the Mining Charter target of 10% women in mining is highly
problematic. This is because women in the lowest paid categories make up an
insignificant minority in each shift; with 10 women out of every 100 workers this
imbalance creates the conditions for sexual harassment and exploitation, and very
little has been done to change the macho culture operating within the closed
environment of a mine. What is more, studies show that women are deployed as
supplementary rather than core labour (Benya, 2009, p. 78).
A Human Resource (HR) officer (who will remain anonymous for fear of employer
sanction) told the Bench Marks Foundation team that Anglo Platinum uses local
Chiefs and Councillors to recruit on their behalf. The Bench Marks Foundation
monitors and members of the community say that the Chiefs and Councillors abuse
this recruitment responsibility to trade jobs for sex. We are in possession of a video
recording of an informant in Marikana who tells us that she has been for interviews
five times and “…every time they have asked me for sex, I refused every time, which
is why I am still unemployed, but I will never give in”.
The Bench Marks Foundation would therefore like to challenge mining corporations
to go beyond reporting numbers in their compliance reporting and indicate what has
been done to transform the workplace culture and environment to accommodate
female workers. Out of 6 000 female employees (i.e. 12% of the total labour force),
3 000 work in core disciplines such as mining, engineering and metallurgy. The two
graphs below (Figure 7 & Figure 8) show that the vast majority of women are in the
unskilled and semi-skilled categories. The graphs further show that women in the
unskilled and semi-skilled categories make up exactly 10% of the total labour force in
these categories. Research also shows that women are disadvantaged in the labour
market by their relative lack of experience in mining.
Other disadvantages in the workplace include a lack of facilities especially designed
for catering for the needs of women. Thus, women are expected to undress in front
of male staff and male workers during health and heat tests and women find
themselves the objects of sexual ridicule and groping during first aid and disaster
exercises (Benya, 2009, p.79).
A Bench Marks Foundation researcher had the benefit of visiting Impala Platinum‟s
Ngezi Mine and Mimosa Mine in Zimbabwe, jointly owned by Impala Platinum and
Aquarius. These two operations - while not meeting Anglo Platinum‟s numbers with
regard to the employment of women - have been very creative in the appropriate
deployment of women, particularly as transport and machine operators. Both mines
report that their machines and vehicles are being much better cared for and with
fewer breakdowns.
Table 4: Schedule of visits to platinum mines in Zimbabwe
Date of visit
29 August - 4 September 2010
23 September – 25 September 2010
8 May – 10 May 2011
Mines Visited
Ngezi Mine /
Mimosa Mine
Technical advice from the Bench
Marks Foundation to Southern
African Resource Watch (SARW)
and Zimbabwean NGO‟s
Report Back to NGO‟s, Zimplats
and Acquarius on findings of
previous visits
Workshop Parliamentary portfolio committee, mines
and NGO‟s
Figure 7: Anglo Platinum: Female employees by race and educational level
consequences of the demographic discrepancy between male and female
employees underground. A female geologist told us “I walk with a knife in my pocket
everywhere I go on the mine, women are not safe here.” A HR officer told us
“…towards the end of the month there is a lot of transactional sex going on
underground, women sell sex to supplement their incomes, everywhere you go
underground, you find used condoms lying around” (January 2012). The same HR
officer told us “[w]e have to monitor the cages [lifts] going down or up to see that they
are not overcrowded, because when they are jam-packed, the women get groped
and abused” (January 2012).
In conclusion, mining corporations should view the issue of gender equity as more
than just a paper / compliance exercise that requires the achievement of a target
number, and realise the anthropological, social and cultural implications thereof by
ensuring that the necessary spatial/environmental and infra-structural transformation
is taken care of, so as to eliminate distress and abuse.
The Bench Marks Foundation was not surprised to hear the shocking news of the
rape and murder of a female worker at Anglo Platinum‟s Khomanani operation near
Rustenburg in February 2012 (SAPA 2012). With regard to gender issues the above
implies that Anglo Platinum once more falls short with regards to the Bench Marks
Foundation‟s policy document, Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility: Bench
Marks for Measuring Business Performance (Bench Marks Foundation, 2003). HDSA‟S IN MANAGEMENT AND OCCUPATIONAL LEVELS
It is pleasing to note that Anglo Platinum has increased the number of HDSA‟s in
management and that they exceed the Mining Charter‟s target by 10%. However, the
research team is concerned that the employment pyramid at Anglo Platinum only
reflects the demographical reality of South Africa at the bottom of the pyramid where
the vast majority of employees are „African.‟ As one proceeds up the occupational
ladder, blacks become progressively fewer and white persons more.
Figure 8: Anglo Platinum: Breakdown by occupational level and race of male employees
It is interesting to note that all the corporations under review are unable to compare
with the empowerment achievements of Botswana and Zimbabwe (see schedule of
visits above – Table 4) where mines are operated almost entirely by black miners at
all levels of occupation.
The Bench Marks Foundation is disappointed by the fact that Anglo Platinum has
also fallen into the trap of appointing persons politically connected to the ruling party
for top management positions with the appointment of the former minister of the
Department of Environmental and Water Affairs, Mr. Vali Moosa. Appointing senior
people of the ruling political party has been identified by many commentators as
corporate attempts at state capture and the sub-version of democracy. Recent
Zambian elections have shown that a time will come when the electorate will express
its dissatisfaction with the close relationship between powerful politicians and
powerful corporations, by voting the ruling party out of power. One of the factors
behind recent civil disturbances in Botswana is also the public perception that the
government and ruling party is in an unhealthy relationship with the dominant mining
corporation in the country (see Policy Gap 5).
There is no indication in the information given about the number of local people,
meaning people born and bred in Bojanala District, who are employed by Anglo
Platinum in its mines within the District. Mining companies often hide behind
„residence‟ as an indicator of local employment, but this is skewed by the impact of
the living-out allowance which places many migrant workers in local residences. PLANS TO BUILD 20 000 HOUSES OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS
The matter of the construction of houses for employees is reported in the company‟s
annual report as if it is a non-retrievable cost to Anglo Platinum. In fact, the houses
of which 1 000 will be constructed in the Bojanala District over the next year are part
of a „home-ownership scheme.‟ This means that the houses are being sold to
employees and that Anglo Platinum will merely assist employees with bank
guarantees for home loans. The Bench Marks Foundation has a number of concerns
about this arrangement.
Firstly, should the employee be retrenched for whatever reason (a market collapse
and employee downscaling, illness, injury or dismissal), the employee will be unable
to continue down-payment on the house and will lose it. Schemes like these
undermine the employee‟s freedom of association, his right to organise and his right
to withhold labour, because any of these actions will mean no income for the
duration of the action (the no work no pay principle applies in South Africa). This will
affect the employee‟s ability to pay his or her monthly instalments on the bond which
will cause the bank to repossess the house.
The Bench Marks Foundation is therefore not surprised in talking to employees, to
find that most prefer not to go for this home ownership option, but to rather take the
living-out allowance thereby swelling the size of the informal settlements around the
mines. The home ownership scheme is therefore little more than an externalisation
of the costs of accommodating workers. Contrast this to the colonial context, where a
former minister of mines informed the research team that during colonial times in
Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa mining licences were issued on condition that
the mining company is responsible for construction and maintenance of the entire
urban infra-structure.
At the source of the mineral discovery, his contention is borne out by D. Jacobson‟s
From Maize to Gold, in which he describes the founding of the Free State Gold fields
and the mining town of Welkom: “This was nothing less than an application to the
Free State Townships Board to establish a township to be known as Welkom... No
haphazard development this, for Welkom, with strong financial backing, had been
planned on modern lines to meet the needs of the five mines to be opened up
around the proposed township at a capital cost of between £22 000 000 and
£25 000 000. Welkom would provide housing for 30 000 Europeans and about 7 000
natives. The plan embraced a modern aerodrome, a large sports ground, separate
residential and industrial areas and a ring and radial system providing easy access
to and from the township and neighbouring areas” (Jacobson, 1947, p. 60).
Substantial contributions towards the development of Welkom came from the
Chamber of Mines, and most white mineworkers rented mine subsidised housing,
while black migrant workers were housed in compounds. This mining development
model stopped after independence in most African countries and as democracy
approached in South Africa, it ceased even here. Against the background of Policy
Gap 1, the research team noted the importance of family housing in the fight against:
substance and alcohol abuse; and
violence against women and children.
The Bench Marks Foundation is disappointed that not much seems to have changed
in this regard. The link between a stable (non-migrant), locally recruited, properly
housed labour force and lower HIV/AIDS infection rates is also well documented in
the literature (Lurie et al., 2003; see also Brummer 2002; International Organisation
The Bench Marks Foundation is keenly interested to hear about this scheme and
enquired about it at the first opportunity from the managers of the company‟s CSR
programme. We were informed that the programme would be modelled on the Royal
Bafokeng Model, and secondly, that the communities would be purchasing the
shares. From our experience, this empowerment model involves the communities
obtaining the shares through the assistance of financial institutions. The communities
then repay the financial institutions through a 60/40 repayment system where the
community retains 40% of annual dividend payouts, and the financial institution
taking 60% of the annual dividend payment to the communities. Not to mention that it
is an interest bearing debt.
Should communities accept this offer, they will immediately become hugely indebted
to financial institutions, and should there be a market collapse as in 2009, their share
ownership might come to an abrupt end. The possibility of such a scenario is
reflected in Anglo Platinum‟s step with regard to another BEE partner, Anooraq, who
are under threat of relinquishing their shares back to Anglo Platinum for failure to
keep up with bank repayments as reflected by Matthews: “Another step was to buy
back some of the assets it originally sold to empowerment group Anooraq on which
Anooraq incurred a R3bn debt which it could not pay. The deal will reduce Anooraq‟s
debt by about R1.7 billion. Nqwababa says AngloPlat will not incur a „material cost‟
on the bailout.” (Mathews 2012).
Anglo Platinum‟s Community Empowerment project in the Media
Feb 8 2011 8:12AM
Anglo Platinum to invest billions into communities
RIDING HIGH: Proposed BEE deals for communities around Anglo Platinum‟s
operations could be as much as R4bn. Picture:
Sibonelo Radebe
Anglo Platinum is preparing to roll out a multibillion rand BEE initiative to benefit
communities surrounding its four major mining operations.
The largest platinum operation in the world, Anglo Platinum, announced yesterday
that qualifying communities in its Limpopo and North West operations would benefit
from deals that are likely to equal between 1% and 2% of the group‟s market value.
Anglo Platinum‟s market value was quoted around R191bn on the JSE yesterday
which puts the value of the proposed BEE deals in the region of R4bn.
The Anglo Platinum deal comes as pressure is mounting on mining entities to
embrace sustainable development by integrating communities in and around their
operations into their business models. Sustainable development activists have
become more critical on the impact of mining on affected communities.
“Mining companies have a responsibility to foster economic development in
communities affected by their operations,” said John Capel MD of Bench Marks
Foundation which monitors corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives in the mining
The Mining Charter calls for the integration of communities into the BEE initiatives of
mining houses.
“Anglo Platinum has been exploring ways of enhancing the benefits that accrue to
host communities,” said the group. “This transaction is intended to provide the
beneficiary communities with long-term equity ownership in Anglo Platinum”.
The group said the terms and final structure of the transaction would be determined
after consultations with the communities were concluded. This initiative would impact
on communities around the Twickenham mine, Mogalakwena and Amandebult in the
Limpopo province. The initiative extends to Anglo Platinum‟s operations in
Rustenburg where the group runs a number of mines including Khomanani,
Bathopele, Siphumelele, Thembelani and Khuseleka.
“Our host communities have long benefited from the presence of our mines in their
areas,” said Cynthia Carroll, chairperson of Anglo Platinum and CEO of parent
company, Anglo American. “Our operations have provided jobs, procurement and
supply chain opportunities, infrastructure development, enterprise development,
support of the education and health sectors and many other community development
initiatives over many years,” said Carrol. Anglo Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau said
the initiative begins a “process of creating sustainable legacies that will outlast the
lives of our mines”.
Anglo Platinum operations seem to be firing on all cylinders if the numbers released
yesterday are anything to go by.
The group‟s financial results for the year ended December showed revenue
increasing by 25% to R46.3bn largely on the back of strong platinum group metals
(PGMs). The price of platinum realised by Anglo Platinum during the course of 2010
improved 34% to $1611 (about R11700) an ounce. The improvement was strong
enough to counter the effect of a stronger rand.
Anglo Platinum recorded a 688% improvement in operating profit from R921m in
2009 to R7.2bn in 2010. This staggering increase is partly explained by extraordinary
items including the sale of shares in associated operations.
These include the disposal of 37% in the Western Bushveld Joint Venture and a gain
from the listing of Royal Bafokeng Platinum. Anglo Platinum‟s prospects further
improved last year after concluding a R12bn capital raising exercise through a rights
issues which greatly improved its balance sheet.
In contrast with the above report, the Bench Marks Foundation read with interest
financial reports at the start of 2012 to the effect that Anglo Platinum announced that
“[d]iluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) decreased by 30% to 1,354 cents for
the year ended in December 31, 2011 from 1,929 cents in 2010. Anglo Plat said the
drop in HEPS was due to the impact of a R1.07 billion once-off accounting charge,
for a broad based community economic empowerment transaction, which offset the
increase in operating profit” (Mathews 2012). Does this represent an investment by
Anglo Platinum in the community, or is it a community investment in Anglo Platinum?
Anglo American Corporation sets up Section 21 Companies in communities to give
effect to these empowerment deals such as the one above. The Bench Marks
Foundation has expressed its reservations about Section 21 Companies and about
the Bafokeng Model in previous Policy Gap Reports. Apart from the commodification
of the traditional identity (Comaroff & Comaroff, 2009, pp. 99 - 116), we have
experienced massive discontent from the population in Phokeng over land issues,
mining rights, and the perception that the benefits of mining does not trickle down to
ordinary people in terms of improved health and education, improved infra-structure
and employment opportunities. Communities feel that Section 21 Companies as
deployed by Anglo Platinum represent corporations rather than communities.
The comments below reflect the frustration of members of the Chaneng community
with mining corporations‟ CSR programmes and the mechanisms such as Section 21
Companies, supported by their pictures.
“These signboards you see all over Chaneng saying the company did this and the
company did that… It is all just window dressing, it is all just advertising.” Joseph,
community member.
Photo 5: An Anglo Platinum CSR advertising
board in Chaneng
Photo 6: Wall-less and door-less toilets in a
Chaneng school. This reminds of the lack
of privacy that mine workers suffer in
change rooms and during medical checkups
“They put in a computer centre at the school, without first checking that the
Department of Education budgeted for a teacher, so now the computer centre is just
standing there, unused.” Chris, Chaneng community member. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Bench Marks Foundation notes with satisfaction that Anglo Platinum now
reports on the redeployment/reassignment of people who suffered debilitating
injuries or illness by Anglo Platinum, following the recommendations in Policy Gap 1
in 2007. However, the Bench Marks Foundation is concerned by a number of
persisting gaps. Firstly we are concerned about the fact that work injuries are only
reported as lost time injury frequency rate statistics (Anglo Platinum, 2010) and not
as actual numbers of workers injured, the conditions, time, place and nature of such
injuries. This indicates a greater concern with lost time, and therefore productivity,
caused by injuries than for the injured employees themselves.
The Bench Marks Foundation shares the concerns of the Department of Mineral
Resources about the seeming correlation between high mineral prices, productivity
and mine accidents, and an apparent correlation between increases in price and in
accidents (Adams, 2011). Thus, Anglo Platinum reported that productivity levels
suffered as a result of safety stoppages that resulted in the loss of approximately
161 200 ounces, of which close to 122 000 ounces were for non-fatality and
localised stoppages. The Section 54 stoppages also had an adverse impact on the
company's cash operating costs, resulting in an increase of approximately 2% above
mining inflation, at 16% year on year, to R13 552 per equivalent refined platinum
ounce. Last year Anglo Plat had 81 safety stoppages, almost three times more than
the 36 safety stoppages it had in 2010, and also reported 12 fatalities compared to 8
in the previous period (Maoto, 2012).
The research team is generally concerned about the underreporting on the health
effects of platinum dust and platinum salts (also known as platinosis), noting ongoing
research into the impact of these dust particles on employees in catalyser and
jewellery manufacturing plants in the USA, Britain and Europe. We are pleased to
note that since Policy Gap 1, Anglo Platinum has included reference to the problem
and to steps taken to mitigate it. According to a number of research reports, the
complex salts of platinum are one of the most potent respiratory sensitising agents,
having caused occupational asthma in more than 50% of exposed workers.
Substitution of ammonium hexachlor platinate with platinum tetramine dichloride in
the manufacture of catalyst has controlled the problem in the catalyst industry.
Ammonium hexachlorplatinate exposure still occurs in the refining process
(Merget et al., 1999). Green Health Watch reports concerns raised by Gerald Hurst
in New Scientist about levels of platinum dust found on road surfaces in several
places in Great Britain. This dust emanates from the catalytic converters of cars
(Green Health Watch, 2011).
According to Dr. Mohamed F Jeebhay at the Centre for Occupational and
Environmental Health Research at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine
at the University of Cape Town, as much as 25% of all adult asthma is work related.
He states that work-related asthma remains under-recognised, poorly managed and
inadequately compensated. Dr Jeebhay claims that platinum, chrome and nickel are
all common causes of occupational asthma in developing countries, particularly
among workers in refineries (Jeebhay, 2009).
The Bench Marks Foundation has also come across two Material Safety Data
Sheets. One is from Jensen Dental dated 29 March 2010 (Jensen Dental, 2010)
identifying the problems associated with metals such as platinum, rhodium, copper
and manganese. The second one is from the US Department of Health and Social
Services National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which also makes the
link between platinum salts/dust and asthma (US Department of Health and Human
Services, 1978).
The Bench Marks Foundation has, during the current round of research, come
across numerous mineworkers in the Bojanala District who claim to have been
boarded due to respiratory and lung function problems (Interviews with boarded
workers in Ikemeleng and Marikana, August 2011). All these informants claim to
have worked in extremely dusty situations in mine operations as well as processing
plants. The Bench Marks Foundation has also found that medical staff employed in
public health facilities in the Bojanala District report a high incidence of respiratory
problems in the general public. The relationship between the road transport by truck
and platinum dust levels in adjacent communities should be an area of further
research. The high incidence of asthma, ear, nose, throat and lung ailments in the
Bojanala District area may be attributed to poor air quality as a result of the smelters
and dust fall-out, as a result of dust road traversed by mine vehicles and open cast
mining and tailings. The Bench Marks Foundation is therefore concerned with more
than the health and safety of mine employees, the concern stretches to the
communities beyond the exclusion zone of the mines.
Also noted is the HIV/AIDS voluntary testing and the roll-out of anti-retroviral
treatment to employees, sub-contracting employees and to spouses. We are,
however perturbed by the continued failure of mining corporations to realise the links
between HIV/AIDS, the living-out allowance and housing policy. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
While Anglo Platinum‟s honesty in reporting incidents of emission exceedances and
incidents of impacts on water is appreciated, the Bench Marks Foundation is
concerned that the corporation reports only a 63% compliance with 688 conditions
requiring legal compliance. It is concerning that Anglo Platinum‟s operations in the
Bojanala District, most of which are long, well established operations, could still have
a 37% non-compliance level. By all accounts the health and welfare status of the
Bojanala District population is not good. The major problems include HIV/AIDS, drug
resistant TB, TB and respiratory problems, alcohol and substance abuse, high levels
of unemployment, substandard housing, rampant informal settlements and low
income levels. Ironically, this is a region where communities are supposed to have
benefited from mining for over 80 years (Rustenburg Platinum Mines was
established in 1931).
Impala Platinum
Private and public personalities
Impala Platinum in its own words
Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats), a leading global producer of platinum,
produced 1.9Moz of platinum (approximately 25% of global supply) and 3.6Moz of
platinum group metals (PGMs) for the 2008 financial year.
Implats‟ mining interests are located on the two most significant known PGMbearing orebodies in the world: the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the
Great Dyke in Zimbabwe:
In South Africa, these are located on the western limb of the Bushveld
Complex (Impala Platinum and the Leeuwkop project) and on the eastern limb
(Marula Platinum and Two Rivers Platinum). Impala and Marula are managed
by Implats, while the Two Rivers joint venture is operated by Implats‟ partner,
African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). Impala Platinum comprises Impala
Rustenburg (mining and smelting operations) and Impala Springs (precious
and base metals refining).
In Zimbabwe, Implats operates Zimplats Holdings and has a joint venture with
Aquarius Platinum in Mimosa Platinum. Zimplats is listed on the Australian
Securities Exchange (ASX).
Impala Refining Services uses Impala Platinum‟s excess smelting and refining
capacity to process the concentrate and matte produced by the various mine-tomarket operations, as well as material purchased from other companies. Tollrefining is also undertaken on behalf of other companies. Implats is one of the
largest auto catalyst recyclers in the world.
Impala Platinum is a subsidiary of Implats. Impala Platinum is situated on the
Western Limb in close proximity to two communities the Bench Marks Foundation is
working with, namely Luka and Chaneng. Implats also operates mines in Limpopo
and Zimbabwe. Implats wishes to be the world‟s best platinum producing company,
delivering superior returns to stakeholders relative to its peers.
Implats claims to uphold the following values:
safeguarding the health and safety of employees and caring for the
environment in which they operate;
acting with integrity and openness in all that they do and fostering a
workplace in which honest and open communication thrives;
promoting and rewarding teamwork, innovation, continuous improvement
and the application of best practice by being a responsible employer,
developing people to the best of their abilities and fostering a culture of
mutual respect among employees;
being accountable and responsible for its actions as a Company and as
individuals; and
being a good corporate citizen in the communities in which they live and
work (Implats, 2010 - 2011).
Implats claims to seek to achieve its vision of becoming the world‟s best platinum
producing company and delivering superior returns to stakeholders relative to its
peers by focussing on a clear three-tier strategy to achieve:
mine safely and sustainably;
achieve a „zero harm‟ workplace;
minimise the impact of operating activities on the environment;
build respectful, constructive relationships with all relevant stakeholders;
develop a strong pipeline of talent and skill;
grow production and resources;
undertake Brownfields and Greenfields exploration;
develop organic growth opportunities;
pursue acquisitions and strategic alliances/joint ventures (JV‟s);
deliver on capital projects;
maintain a low-cost ounce profile;
apply disciplined capital investment criteria;
execute rigorous cost control and operational efficiency to maintain the
Group in the lowest quartile on the cost curve; and
focus on improving productivity.
Implats claims to show great concern for cost containment, lower costs translate into
higher profits and thus the fulfilment of the corporate ethic to maximise profits for
shareholders. Their Chairperson notes: “I believe that there is a fundamental link
between sustainable business practice, ethics, governance and the creation of longterm shareholder value” (Mokhele, 2011). Implats is therefore keen to qualify
stakeholders and limit the concept to those deemed „relevant‟. In their case then,
sustainability seems to imply operational sustainability to a much greater degree
than social and environmental sustainability. Issues of the environment, employee
health and safety and community are therefore considered risks to be minimised if
profits are to be maximised. This seems to fit Friedman‟s notion that the only
legitimate CSR is the type of CSR which results in the maximising of profit.
In a couple of issues that will consequently be highlighted, the private and public
personalities of Implats are being reflected. SUSTAINABILITY
According to the Chairman of the Board: “Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates (LTIFR)
remains too high. The safety performance of the Group remains a disappointment to
the Board, notwithstanding the world-class safety performance of the Zimbabwean
operations [Zimplats and Mimosa]”.
The production and resource constraints that are being experienced at the Impala
Rustenburg operations as the older shafts reach the end of their life, will be
alleviated by the three new shafts currently under construction (shaft numbers 20, 16
and 17) (Impala Annual Report). The Bench Marks Foundation is concerned, in the
light of the Aurora experience, that Impala Platinum might want to sell off these
shafts to BEE juniors to avoid its environmental and social responsibilities at closure.
The long-term sustainability of the business will require the availability of various
skills sets that are needed to underpin a mining operation. The South African and
Zimbabwean education and training systems are currently failing to deliver the
quality and quantity of suitably skilled persons for the Group to renew and refresh its
labour force.
The Group‟s skills challenges are further compounded by the high prevalence of
HIV/AIDS within the economically active age group of 15 – 49 years in the South
African population. The average infection rate for the mining industry according to
the Chamber of Mines, is estimated to be between 25% – 30%. The Group has
already started to experience the economic impacts of HIV/AIDS through higher
absenteeism and lower productivity at Impala Rustenburg.
The uncertain political and economic climate in Zimbabwe and the increase in the
nationalisation rhetoric in South Africa are also challenges (Mokhele, 2011). EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND SAFETY
Impala Platinum reports that the following employees died while at work during the
Financial Year 2011. The research team extends sincere condolences to their
families, friends and colleagues:
Mr Motlhanke Maku died in a fall of ground accident on 7 July 2010 at
Impala Rustenburg 4 Shaft;
Mr Innocent Ndlovu died in an accident dealing with explosives, on 5
September 2010 at the Mimosa Mine;
Mr Alfiado Bacitela died in an equipment handling accident on 17
September 2010 at Impala Rustenburg 11 Shaft;
Mr Mankoene Nkhoaneng died after being overcome by methane gas on
21 October 2010 at Impala Rustenburg 11 Shaft;
Mr Gadeni Hlophe died in a fall of ground accident on 1 November 2010 at
Impala Rustenburg 11 Shaft;
Mr Mvesilo Mswedi died in an equipment handling accident on 20
December 2010 at Impala Rustenburg 14 Shaft;
Mr Michael Molokwane died in an accident involving an LHD on 25
February 2011 at Impala Rustenburg 14 Shaft; and
Mr Rui Wamba Tila died in a fall of ground accident on 25 June 2011 at
Impala Rustenburg 5 Shaft (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 44). HIV/AIDS
Implats estimates an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 23% among its employees. It would
have been interesting to have figures by operation. Regrettably, 131 patients died in
service due to AIDS-related illnesses (Financial Year 2010: 134), while a further 388
patients (Financial Year 2010: 281) applied for medical incapacity benefits and left
the Group. Far more employees die from HIV-related illness than employees that die
from mine accidents (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 44). It must be noted that HIV/AIDS
levels are usually higher in surrounding communities than what they are on the
actual mine site, because mineworkers have better access to corporate health
facilities and HIV/AIDS programmes.
In the Financial Year 2011, 350 new cases of pulmonary TB were detected
(Financial Year 2010: 399), which is a rate of 6.12 per 1 000 employees. The high
level of HIV/AIDS in South Africa exacerbates the incidence of TB as infected
employees‟ immune systems are compromised, in turn increasing their risk of
contracting TB. Seventy-seven (77) percent of newly diagnosed TB patients are HIVpositive (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 44). ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
The Annual Report notes a reduction in the consumption of water, but says nothing
about impact on surface-, ground- or atmospheric water (Implats, 2010 - 2011,
p. 46).
The Annual Report discusses the increases in the price of electricity but says nothing
about the group‟s energy footprint (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 46).
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
At Rustenburg SO2 emitted per day for the year was 17.3 tonnes (Financial Year
2010), showing a deterioration in SO2 emissions at these operations. The operations
have investigated the cause of this deterioration in air quality at the smelter and the
findings indicate that high sulphur content in the Merensky ore and inefficiencies in
the abatement systems was the cause. The operations are working on restoring SO 2
levels to below 16 tonnes of SO2 a day (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 46), which is too
high given that in 2010 it was only 10.4 tonnes. The Bench Marks Foundation is of
the opinion that the target of 16 tonnes of SO2 represents a drop in standards. The
Bench Marks Foundation remains concerned, as we were after Policy Gap 1, about
the cumulative impact of the emissions for all the various operations of the many
different mining companies within the relatively small geographical space of the
Bojanala District.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Implats‟ total direct CO2 emissions (from burning fuel such as coal, diesel, petrol and
gases) during the Financial Year 2011 were 435 605 tonnes, an increase of 10% on
the Financial Year 2010. Total indirect CO2 emissions rose by 6% to 3.6 million
(Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 46). The communities of the Bojanala District therefore
suffer the highest levels of air pollution of all Impala‟s operations in Southern Africa.
Given the spread of Implat‟s operations over the North West Province, Limpopo and
Zimbabwe, further research is needed to determine why Rustenburg accounts for
72% of total emissions. SOCIAL PERFORMANCE
Education and literacy
The group spent R14 million on Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) during
the financial year and 842 employees were enrolled for ABET. This implies that the
group is spending R16 627.07 per learner on ABET with only a 70% pass rate, and
no significant impact on illiteracy! Overall, the Group‟s average literacy level
improved by 1% mainly due to ABET programmes, and as a result of their
recruitment drives focusing on hiring employees who have completed their high
school education. The most significant improvements were experienced at the
Rustenburg operations where currently 57% of the workforce is literate opposed to
55% in the Financial Year 2010 (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 47). Implats awarded 70
fulltime bursaries, 451 individuals benefited from their apprenticeship programme
and 23 members of the group participated in leadership programmes with the
Gordon Institute of Business Science (Implats, 2010 - 2011, p. 47).
The experienced personality of Impala Platinum
“The only thing Impala has ever done for us since coming here to Chaneng in 1968
is to tar one road for us” says Molefi, a sixty year old resident from Chaneng. He
continues: “…ever since I was 18 years old I have been fighting for someone to build
a community hall here, I am afraid that I will die before my dream is realised”.
Photo 7: Impala platinum billboard advertising paved road in Chaneng
The experienced personality (perceptions of communities) will now be reflected in
highlighting the burning issues of Mine Fatalities and Environmental Impacts. MINE FATALITIES
While the Group reports an improvement in safety, the number of fatalities for its
Rustenburg operations (7 fatalities at Impala Rustenburg) is unacceptably high, more
so because Rustenburg Impala is a long established operation having commenced
in 1968. The Bench Marks Foundation reported a number of shortcomings that
contribute to poor health and safety in mines in Policy Gap 1 (Bench Marks
Foundation, 2007). Unfortunately, it would seem as if very little has changed at
Rustenburg Platinum since then.
The causes of poor safety:
Cost containment: While all the mines under review pride themselves on
cost containment, if it is achieved at the expense of mine health and safety it
becomes problematic. However, we would need more information on cost
cutting to support this assertion.
The use of sub-contractors: Implats, in contrast to Anglo Platinum, has
actually increased the number of sub-contractors in its employment (the use
of sub-contractors and out-sourcing are usually justified on the grounds of
cost containment).
Table 5: The use of contractors by Implats vs full-time employees (Implats, 2011, p.1)
in service
39 624
38 317
17 504
15 819
Variance %
From having visited both Ngezi and Mimosa mines in Zimbabwe, the Bench
Marks Foundation researchers can say with confidence that the bulk of subcontracted labour used by Implats will be on its South African operations,
notably Rustenburg and Marula in Limpopo. Both NUM and the Bench Marks
Foundation have pointed out that the use of sub-contracted labour
compromises mine safety. Sub-contracted labour is usually poorly paid,
poorly trained and educated, and poorly accommodated. Sub-contracted
labour also lacks long term familiarity with the work environment and culture,
being highly mobile between jobs. Therefore, sub-contracted workers
compromise the health and safety of other workers.
Photo 8: Impala Platinum ore train running up and down a line that has numerous unguarded
rail/road crossings
There seems to be very little concern for public safety in communities in
close proximity to mine operations in the Bojanala District, from Chaneng in
the far west to Marikana in the east. All rail crossings are unguarded and
signage is generally poor. We are told that all of these crossings are high
accident zones. Any CSR programme worth its salt would have invested in
bridges or booms. Impala has been in the region of Chaneng and Rasimone
since 1968 and has never thought of securing road/rail intersections.
Photo 9: One of the many unguarded/unbridged rail crossings affecting Luka, Rasimone and
Low levels of worker literacy: Forty-three (43) percent of Implats workers
remain illiterate. By its own admission the group‟s literacy level in Zimbabwe
is 100%. Clearly the illiterate workers are concentrated in the South African
operations. The Bench Marks Foundation notes with dismay that the poor
literacy situation at Implats mines has not improved much since 2007. We
then commented on the very high amounts per capita spent by the group on
ABET yielding little results; we are therefore surprised that little has
changed. Illiterate workers are unable to read health and safety signage, and
are unable to read first aid and health and safety manuals, notices and
literature. In the interactions with the communities we work with in Bojanala,
we constantly hear the complaint that the mines employ very few locals
(despite the protestations by the mines to the contrary).
The youth in the district are particularly perturbed by mining companies
refusing them employment because they do not have the right subject
combinations (maths and science) or adequate marks in these subjects,
despite having matriculation certificates. Secondly, it is argued that they do
not have experience in mining. The Bench Marks Foundation wonders
whether the 43% illiterate employees and the sub-contracting employees
have maths and science to show on their CV‟s? This anomaly will do
damage to the relations between mines and communities in the area, and
will also ultimately damage the public image of a corporation like Implats.
“When we approach the mine to give us jobs, they either tell us that we lack
experience or that we are not qualified, that we need maths and science. Yet
many of their workers are illiterate, at least we have matric.” (Phokeng
Poor living conditions of mineworkers: Sub-contracted workers cannot
afford to become part of home ownership schemes. They lack job security
because they are not permanently employed. Therefore, sub-contracted
workers will find themselves in informal settlements, in backyard shacks or in
appallingly poorly maintained and managed group/hostel accommodation
provided by the sub-contract that employs them. Poor nutritional levels, lack
of healthy entertainment and recreational facilities, lack of potable water and
electricity in many instances mean that these workers are not properly
reproduced physically, spiritually and psychologically on a daily basis. They
frequently visit shebeens, use sex-workers and do not eat or rest properly.
Clearly all these factors will impact on their ability to work effectively, to
concentrate and to look out for danger in a very dangerous environment.
Productivity bonuses: The Bench Marks Foundation researchers had the
opportunity to talk to shop stewards and team safety officers at Impala
Rustenburg. In the discussions it became clear that the drive for productivity
induced by production bonuses is compromising worker safety. There is a
high turnover of team/shift safety officers, because teams chasing bonuses
report such officers for compromising productivity when they stop work due
to safety concerns about the area in which the work takes place. The recent
strike by 13 000 workers at Impala Platinum over the discriminatory nature of
these bonuses come as no surprise to the Bench Marks Foundation; an
increase in transactional sex in all the mines around Rustenburg is reported,
particularly towards pay-day. We believe that the productivity bonuses also
contribute to the spiralling sex work that is taking place on the mines in the
The Bench Marks Foundation welcomes the honesty of corporations in admitting
exceedances of the limitations on SO2 and CO2 emissions. However, admitting the
emissions is insufficient if there are no legal and regulatory consequences. It is
equivalent to a person admitting a crime, but there are no legal consequences. We
note that the regulatory authority, the Department of Minerals Resources (DMR), is
amiss in not instituting legal proceedings against those that contravene regulations.
The research team also notes the backlog in the issuing of Air Quality and Water
Use Licences. This indicates severe incapacity in both the DMR and the
departments of Environmental- and Water Affairs.
The Bench Marks Foundation has long argued that the DMR needs to unbundle
various responsibilities/mandates that it is clearly incapable of carrying out. It must
revert these to the proper and more relevant departments, such as the departments
of Environmental- and Water Affairs (in the case of EIA‟s, Air Quality Licences,
Water Use Licences, etc.), the Department of Labour (regarding labour matters) and
other relevant departments regarding Social and Labour Plans.
Private and public personalities
Lonmin Platinum in its own words
We are Lonmin, a primary producer of Platinum Group Metals. We create value by the
discovery, acquisition, development and marketing of minerals and metals.
We respect the communities and nations that host our operations and conduct business
in a sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible way.
We have Mines in South Africa from which ore mined and concentrated before being
processed through smelter and refineries to deliver finished metals to the market.
Our mission:
 To grow and build our portfolio of high quality assets;
 To deliver the requirements of the South African broad-based socioeconomic
Mining Charter and we welcome the opportunity to transform our business; and
 To build a value-based culture, which is founded on safe work, continuous
improvement, common standards and procedures, community involvement and one
that rewards employees for high performance.
Our Values:
 Zero Harm: We are committed to zero harm to people and the environment;
 Integrity, Honesty & Trust: We are committed ethical people who do what we say
we will do;
 Transparency: Open, honest communication and free sharing of information;
 Respect For Each Other: Embracing our diversity enriched by openness, sharing,
trust, teamwork and involvement;
 High Performance: Stretching our individual and team capabilities to achieve
innovative and superior outcomes; and
 Employee Self-Worth: To enhance the quality of life for our employees and their
families and promote self esteem.
Lonmin‟s opening statement to its Sustainable Development Report for 2010 reads:
“We respect the communities and nations that host our operations and conduct
business in a sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible way”
(LonminPLC, 2010).
This leads into the corporation‟s mission statement (LonminPLC, 2010, p. 1) which
to grow and build its portfolio in high quality assets;
to deliver the requirements of the South African broad-based Mining Charter
and it welcomes the opportunity to transform our business; and
to build a value based culture, which is founded on safe work, continuous
improvement, common standards and procedures, community involvement
and one that rewards employees for high performance.
Lonmin states (LonminPLC, 2010, p. 1) that it will be successful when:
Its employees live and work safely and experience the personal satisfaction
that comes with high performance and recognition;
Its shareholders are realising a superior total return on their investment and
support its corporate sustainability values;
the communities in which they operate value their relationships; and
Lonmin is meeting its commitments to all business partners, suppliers and
contractors; and
Partners and customers support the Lonmin Charter.
The Lonmin report then identifies the following values: zero harm, integrity, honesty
(LonminPLC, 2010, p. 1).
This is the self image that Lonmin has, and its actions out there seek to convince the
public that it lives up to this vision and these objectives and values.
The report summarises the achievements and challenges of the corporation for 2010
as follows.
Table 6: Lonmin´s achievements and challenges
Development of an integrated Safety Failure to eliminate fatal accidents: the
Strategy reflecting a shift to a more company had three mine accident fatalities
proactive approach
during 2010; in its latest 2010 Interim report
the company reports six fatalities already
since the start of 2011 (LonminPLC, 2011,
p. 2)
Development of a revised housing
Delays on the housing project slowed down
model including earmarking
the delivery of Lonmin‟s Social and Labour
accommodation for women in mining
Plan commitments
Developing an integrated real time water To secure an adequate supply of water to
balance system to measure and monitor sustain and expand Lonmin‟s operations
water flow throughout the Company
School attendance and performance in
the Greater Lonmin Community (GLC)
have improved partly as a result of
Lonmin investments in education and
nutrition programmes
43.3% of Lonmin managers are from
designated groups, exceeding Lonmin
targets for 2010
Lonmin has reduced its total fresh water
intake, per unit of production, by 25%
compared to the 2007 baseline
Lonmin is managing its risks associated
Lonmin‟s governance of sustainability
has focussed on making informed
decisions based on improved data
collection and reporting
Lonmin has refined its approach to
identifying and prioritising its principle
sustainability risks
Targeting the GLC with tertiary education
The effectiveness of Lonmin‟s training and
development initiatives
Promoting awareness of energy efficiency
To reduce the amount of ground level fugitive
SO2 emissions by 40% by 30 September
Source: LonminPLC, 2010, p. 23
Lonmin’s experienced personality
Lonmin experienced violent community protests at its Marikana operations in 2011,
an indication of communities frustrated and angry with the mining company. The
following issues can specifically be highlighted: WORKER HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Bench Marks Foundation finds the levels of fatal accidents at Lonmin
unacceptable and the fact that the number of fatalities have doubled since January
2011 is worrisome. The Foundation notes the high reliance on contract workers, and
as for our comments concerning fatalities at Impala Platinum, we consider this a
cause of poor safety in mines. Lonmin employs 23 915 employees permanently, the
majority of them at Marikana. In addition, Lonmin has 9 131 full time contractors
which represent a drop of slightly more than 1 000 from the 10 497 contractors
employed in 2009. Thus, roughly one third of employees are sub-contractors (or
contractors as Lonmin refers to them).
Lonmin outlines extensive steps to reduce fatalities and injuries at its operations
(LonminPLC, 2010, pp. 23-26). However, none of these steps refer to the
contribution of the living conditions of workers and how these conditions impact on
worker health and safety (the Bench Marks Foundation‟s comments on Impala
Platinum above are also applicable here).
The visits by the Bench Marks Foundation research team to Marikana convince us
that the residential conditions under which Lonmin and other mine company
employees live are appalling. This can be seen in the proliferation of shacks and
informal settlements, the rapid deterioration of formal infra-structure and housing in
Marikana itself, and the fact that a section of the township constructed by Lonmin did
not have electricity for more than a month during the time of our last visit. At the RDP
Township we found broken down drainage systems spilling directly into the river at
three different points. Residents informed the Bench Marks Foundation team that
they have been reporting the matter to both the Local Government and Lonmin for
five years now, and it still remains unaddressed. The Bench Marks Foundation team
interviewed residents living next to the spills and found that children showed
symptoms of chronic illnesses associated with such spills.
Photo 10: One of several sewage spills in the RDP village next to Lonmin Karee mine,
Photo 11: Case history file for child chronically ill from sewage spill next to her house,
The Bench Marks Foundation is also concerned about the appearance of bilharzia
warning signs appearing next to surface water streams in Marikana. The presence of
bilharzia in the surface water in the Bojanala District is a direct consequence of
informal settlements, a major cause of which is the housing policies of mining
companies, and failure to maintain and repair sewage and drainage systems by
Local Government. Until mining corporations realise that the physical, spiritual,
mental and recreational needs of their employees are important to mine safety, zero
harm and zero fatality objectives will remain unrealised.
At the local Lonmin supported school in Marikana, the research team found several
blocks of old asbestos class rooms still in existence. A major rail crossing in the
centre of Marikana remains unguarded (the Bench Marks Foundation found several
similar unguarded rail crossings in other villages and in Rustenburg town itself).
These crossings are reportedly high accident zones and are mainly used by the
mining companies operating in Bojanala District.
Photo 12: Lonmin CSR Signage at school with asbestos classroom blocks (see following
Photo 13: Asbestos classroom blocks Marikana
Photo 14: Unguarded rail crossing, Marikana
Photo 15: Failed multi-million rand Lonmin hydroponics project LONMIN AND LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IN MARIKANA
Production at two shafts of Lonmin‟s Marikana platinum mine was halted by protests
from nearby community members who demanded that the company employ its
residents (Wessels, 2011). On May 24 2011, Lonmin dismissed 9 000 workers at its
Marikana operation in South Africa after a union dispute prompted unsanctioned
walk-offs. Lonmin reported that the „unprotected industrial action‟ has disrupted
output at the platinum operations since the night shift of May 17 (Reuters, 2011). The
implication of this mass dismissal is that workers who participated in the housing
scheme of the mine also lost their houses. After the researcher‟s interaction with the
local community, we are also not surprised that violent protests broke out in
Marikana directed against Lonmin with the major demand being employment for
The Bench Marks Foundation is also concerned about the poorly planned and
executed multi-million rand Lonmin hydroponics project near Marikana. The project
provided work for about 120 people from Marikana, but it is claimed by the
community that an alleged dispute between the company and the sub-contractor
who managed the project, led to its collapse. The research team visited the
abandoned project and found, despite the state of the art equipment installed, that it
was in wrack and ruin.
Photo 16: Abandoned multi-million CSR project in ruins
This specific research setting for the review of the impact of mining on commercial
farming is adjacent to the mining operations of Lonmin, Aquarius and Theresa
Minerals (near Mooinooi). The area has more or less 90% white and 10% black
farmers on both sides of the N4 and Old Pretoria Road (most of the remaining
farming activities are to the north of the N4). There are also four black communities
in the area, namely Maumong, Rankelentjane, Thlapa and Wonderkop.
A summary of the main findings will consequently be given, categorised according to
the impact of mining on the three main dimensions of development.
Economic dimension
The most important economic impact is – as already indicated - that the mine buys
more and more property and productive land. One problem in the area is that some
of these bought-up properties are now unproductive units and some just serve as a
breeding ground to social problems, for example squatters. On the other hand, the
mining company now also isolates and alienates farmers from a broader united and
consolidated farming unit; one farmer states that “[t]hey [the mine] buy everything
around you, and you then become like an island...”. Such an isolated farm now very
easily becomes the concentrated target of people (and birds!) that „steal‟/pick the
crop, especially in the case of sunflower. Farmers also mentioned the disturbing
issue of people hunting with dogs in such areas.
In relation to the above-mentioned matters, more than one farmer informed the
research team about the inevitable „undermining‟ and devaluation of your property
due to this „isolation strategy‟. A respondent argues: “Who is going to buy your farm
when there is a mine dump on the one side and a slime dam on the other side…?”
In the long run, farmers do not have any other option than to sell to the mining
Although hesitant and careful, participants were strongly of the opinion that „dodgy
deals‟, corruption and nepotism on the side of mining companies in the area are the
order of the day regarding certain transactions.
Environmental dimension
Environmental degradation goes like a golden thread in the area; in fact, the situation
seems even worse than more than five years ago.
With the expansion, more and more slime dams are being built adjacent to the
farmers, and even on their properties. This situation has of course an influence on
the quality of surface water. Regarding water responsibility, it just seems as if mining
companies are passing the buck. Lonmin, Aquarius and Theresa Minerals own
basically 90% of the Buffelspoort Dam; this water is earmarked for agricultural use.
Farmers are of the opinion that – in the long run – it would be better if the mines buy
out the last small farmers adjacent to the dam and then utilise the water for industrial
(mining) purposes. Mines are currently getting water from other sources (bore holes
and Rand Water) that might also be questionable in terms of water licences. The
Sterkstroom River is as a consequence of poor water management and
responsibility, especially from Lonmin, in a terribly polluted state and farmers
downstream cannot use the water any more. Slime dams, sewerage from the
squatter camps and non-functional sewerage systems from RDP houses and even
the police station exacerbate the problem.
A black farmer complained about the extremely poor condition of the gravel roads
that lead to his crops, due to the usage of those primitive roads by the heavy
machinery of the mines.
According to Klaas (not his real name), it is merely
impossible to use the roads with your normal „bakkie‟ (researchers saw the damage
to his „bakkie‟). Up to now, the mine shows no intention to fix the roads. Air pollution
remains a huge problem; this problem is more evident during certain periods of the
year when it is more dry, dusty and windy, especially when the wind blows from a
southerly direction.
Photo 18: Ruins of farms are plentiful around Marikana as agriculture retreats before mining
Social dimension
One of the major social „illnesses‟ of the area, except for other social problems going
with the isolation-effect (for example safety, deteriorating community dynamics, etc.),
is the establishing of squatter camps on unproductive land (now owned by the mine)
and even on the property of farmers. From a demographic point of view, the
population is increasing at a rapid pace and there is literally on a daily basis an influx
of people, many of course immigrants (documented as well as undocumented).
Social problems that stem from a situation like this are numerous and inevitable
(Cronjé & Chenga, 2007); respondents in the interviews and focus groups confirmed
crime (theft, robbery and murder), rape and prostitution, social disintegration (in
terms of family structures, other institutionalised structures, for example schools and
churches, unemployment, poverty, etc.) and communicable diseases like TB and
The so-called sleeping-out allowance (where the mine pays workers an amount for
„supposedly‟ decent housing instead of the hostel system) was also highlighted by
key informants as hugely problematic. Workers take the bare minimum of the
allowance, stay in shacks and now have more money, either to send home as
remittance or simply for local entertainment in the form of alcohol and women.
The consultation process that the mine is supposed to follow regarding important
issues (for example to explore on a farmer‟s land) is very poor and mostly actually
non-existent. The mine will need to go a long way to substantiate and give real
meaning to the issue of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). The traditional
tendency of the mine to make use of „sophisticated‟ consultants regarding Social and
Labour Plans (SLP‟s), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA‟s) and Feasibility
Studies is continuing.
Some of these reports and assessments are highly questionable, and some others
are being kept as a secret. One farmer revealed that the sustainability/feasibility
report of a mining company in the area describes his farm and the productive and
sound farming practice thereof as “…a few dilapidated buildings with no meaningful
economic activities going on…” The specific report was compiled by a consultancy
agency from Johannesburg, Golder Associates in 2011 (Golder Associates, 2011).
Regarding social projects, the concept of sustainability is unfortunately the missing
link in the equation. Efforts in this regard are characterised by hidden agendas,
untransparency, corruption, poor management and false promises. Research
subjects specifically pointed out the cases of the infamous Israeli „Gilli‟ project, as
well as the Affordable Life Solution for Africa (ALSA) project in the area under
discussion. ALSA is an investment initiative from the Netherlands for housing, but
the project does not seem to get off the ground, although the land is already paid for.
Some respondents made allegations that Lonmin is resisting the EIA of the project.
Participants also brought up the issue of training in the area; more trained and
educated people can logically lead to a more developed and sustainable
Lastly, the question of poor infra-structure in the vicinity of the mine was echoed by
most respondents. In this regard they refer specifically to poor roads (already
mentioned), electricity problems and no telephone lines in certain areas.
What struck the research team after having dealt with the farming communities is
that not much has changed since the 2004/5 investigation in the area or the Policy
Gap Research in 2006/7. Even more alarming, is the huge amounts being reflected
by companies for corporate social investment (CSI) and corporate CSR;
unfortunately, very little of that expenditure could be picked up from this survey.
It thus seems that corporate citizenship (CC) and sustainability are currently still
illusions on a far horizon and that companies – despite good business –
unfortunately cannot claim to have the very important and priceless „Social Licence
to Operate‟. In addition, it must be stressed categorically that government services in
the area are in general appalling; to make sustainability a reality to some extent, they
(government) must also „come to the party‟ and act as socially responsible citizens.
Public and private personalities
Xstrata in its own words:
We are one of the world‟s largest mining and metals companies - a major producer of
seven commodities used in everything from constructing buildings and delivering
electricity to developing jet engines and mobile phones. We operate in more than
20 countries and employ more than 70 000 people globally.
But our business has grown rapidly from small beginnings a decade ago. Over that time
we have retained a uniquely decentralised management structure that gives our people
responsibility and authority at a local level, encouraging innovation and an
entrepreneurial spirit and creating strong links between our operations and local
Xstrata Alloys
One of the world‟s largest producers of ferrochrome and vanadium used in the steel
Xstrata Coal
The world‟s largest exporter of seaborne thermal coal used to generate electricity and
one of the largest producers of coal used to make steel.
Xstrata Copper
The world‟s fourth largest global copper producer and a leading recycler of copper and
other metals.
Xstrata Nickel
One of the world‟s largest and producers of nickel and cobalt used in a wide range of
industry applications.
Xstrata Zinc
A leading producer of zinc used to galvanise steel and lead used in large batteries.
Xstrata Technology
A provider of technical expertise to the global mining industry to improve efficiency and
environmental performance.
A major problem with the Xstrata sustainable development report is that it conflates
all its operations across the planet (Canada, the USA, Europe, South America, Africa
and Australia) into one single report. This makes it extremely difficult to obtain a
clear picture of its CSR programme in the Bojanala District of the North West
Province specifically.
According to Xstrata, its mission is to grow and manage a diversified portfolio of
metals and mining businesses with the single aim of delivering industry leading
returns for its shareholders. Xstrata states that it can achieve this only through
genuine partnerships with employees, customers, shareholders, local communities
and other stakeholders, which are based on integrity, co-operation, transparency and
mutual value-creation (Xstrata, 2010, p. 1).
Xstrata states that its businesses maintain a meaningful position in seven major
international commodity markets: copper, coking coal, thermal coal, ferrochrome,
nickel, vanadium and zinc, with additional exposure to gold, cobalt, lead and silver.
The Group also comprises of a growing platinum group metals business, iron ore
projects, recycling facilities and a suite of global technology products, many of which
are industry leaders. Xstrata‟s operations and projects span 20 countries
(Xstrata, 2010, p. 1).
Xstrata further claims, that by operating to leading standards of health, safety and
environmental performance, contributing to the development of sustainable
communities and engaging with its stakeholders in two-way dialogue, regardless of
the location, enhances its corporate reputation and is a source of competitive
advantage. It seeks to balance social, environmental, ethical and economic
considerations in how it manages its businesses (Xstrata, 2010, p. 1). Xstrata
creates „sustainable value‟ for its shareholders by delivering transformational growth
and by applying operational excellence to its portfolio (Xstrata, 2010, p. 1).
This report is concerned with challenges faced by Xstrata‟s South African operations.
Xstrata Alloys is the world‟s largest producer of ferrochrome, a leading producer of
primary vanadium and has a growing platinum group metals business. Xstrata Alloys
also owns carbon operations which supply key raw materials to its ferrochrome
smelters. Xstrata Alloys‟ operations are based in South Africa (Xstrata, 2010, p. 4).
As part of the reflection of their private and public personality, the Xstrata group
claims the following achievements:
20% reduction in total recordable injuries to 7 per million hours worked;
10% reduction in lost time injuries to 1.9 per million hours worked;
three fatalities at managed operations;
zero category 3, 4 or 5 environmental incidents for first time;
greenhouse gas emissions increased by 12% as production levels rose;
recycled water use rose by 11%;
20 major growth projects in implementation, representing $18 billion
net earnings of $5.2 billion and record real cost savings of $541 million; and
Dow Jones Sustainability Index Sector Leader for fourth consecutive year
(Xstrata, 2010, p. 2).
It is very difficult to disaggregate the above information into country specific, province
specific, district specific and operation specific information.
The CEO of Xstrata, Mick Davis reports that, “…three people lost their lives at our
managed operations. A further seven people were fatally injured in two incidents at
non-managed joint venture operations during the year. Already in 2011, four people
have been fatally injured at our operations” (Davis, 2011, p. 9).
Referring to the intended audience of its report, Xstrata claims that: “Our
sustainability reports provide a broad range of information about our sustainable
development policies, practices and performance. They are aimed primarily at
existing and prospective shareholders, as well as socially responsible investment
analysts and investors. Other audiences include governments, inter-governmental
bodies, industry organisations, trade unions, employees and their families,
communities associated with our operations, contractors and contracting partners,
development and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), suppliers, customers,
joint-venture and business partners and the media” (Xstrata, 2010, p. 15).
Because Xstrata conflates all its information into a single global sustainable
development report, it is difficult to analyse and make location specific findings. This
contradicts the claim of accessibility made in the above reference to the audience of
the report. This inaccessibility is further compounded by the fact that the document
only appears in English, is circulated via Internet or hardcopy available at Xstrata
country offices, and is not directly distributed to the components of the claimed
audience. The problems associated with report distribution are common to the
reports of all the corporations reviewed in this study.
Consequently, two issues linked to the private and public personality, will be put to
Xstrata Alloys and Xstrata Coal, the group‟s businesses operating in Southern Africa,
claim to have 100% targets for their HIV/AIDS programmes. Hundred (100) percent
of employees and contractors know their HIV status and 100% of HIV-positive
employees and contractors are enrolled in treatment.
A broad range of programmes that are designed to move it closer to achieving the
100% targets are in place. These include:
community initiatives such as improving access to healthcare, working with
traditional healers and conducting a door-to-door outreach programme,
which encourage HIV-positive employees and contractors and their
dependents to take up and remain in appropriate treatment programmes;
voluntary HIV testing and counselling – all employees and contractors
receive time off from their shift to participate in annual health assessments,
provided by an independent organisation;
access to free healthcare and treatment through easily available channels
for all HIV-positive employees and contractors and their dependents;
Xstrata Coal SA has implemented the „I know the way to live!‟ initiative
developed by Re-Action! (a professional services agency for health and
sustainability); and
eradication of single sex hostels for mineworkers.
These initiatives are complemented by education and awareness raising
programmes, and are undertaken in close partnership with unions and employees‟
families and partners. Training and education programmes cover a broad range of
health issues in addition to HIV and AIDS (Xstrata, 2010, p. 51).
Xstrata states that “[w]e believe it benefits the community and Xstrata to have local
management and to employ local expertise in the regions where we operate. Local
people understand the culture and regulatory environment and help us operate
efficiently and with sensitivity to our host country. The employment we create for
local people is often a significant component in the local economy… We filled 80% of
new positions, including senior management positions, in 2010 with local people,
defined as those already living in the geographic region where the job is primarily
based. Sites in remote regions with high unemployment have targets and structured
programmes to help maximise the employment levels in local communities. Targets
range from 65% to 100% of the workforce and, where appropriate, sites also have
specific targets to increase the proportion of people employed from neighbouring
indigenous communities” (Xstrata, 2010, p. 58).
The experienced personality of Xstrata
A couple of burning issues through the eyes of the community will consequently be
In February 2011, NUM alleged that Xstrata was firing workers on grounds of their
HIV/AIDS status from one of its South African Collieries. This seemingly has had an
impact on communities and mineworkers from the Tlhabane Township of
Rustenburg. No doubt, mine workers at Xstrata‟s chrome operations in Rustenburg
were informed of the alleged dismissals at the Tweefontein Colliery in Mpumalanga.
It is claimed by informants that Xstrata employees are now afraid to go for HIV/AIDS
testing and treatment at mine health facilities and that they frequently visit
government facilities instead. Residents of the Tlhabane Township resent the
sudden increase in patients at the government facilities and the resultant increased
in demand for anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment. This has the potential of unleashing
xenophobic attacks in the area.
“When we get to the government clinic the lines are long, and full of „foreigners‟ who
are mineworkers from Xstrata. They refuse to go to the mine clinic, instead they
come here, and often we find the clinic running out of supplies…,” Interviewed
community member from Tlhabane.
Xstrata Coal South Africa Accused of Sacking HIV-Positive Miners
A dispute has arisen in South Africa between ICEM affiliate National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM) and Xstrata Coal over the apparent discharge of 12
HIV-positive miners. The miners were first sacked last fall from their jobs at the
Tweefontein collieries in Mpumalanga province, but the NUM interceded on their behalf
before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) and won
reinstatement to their jobs.
But in mid-February, Xstrata Coal South Africa informed the NUM that it would re-sack
the 12 and appeal the CCMA‟s decision to a labour court. At issue is whether or not
Xstrata knew of their HIV status through a joint NUM-Xstrata Voluntary Counselling and
Testing (VCR) programme that is strictly confidential. Hundreds of Tweefontein miners
were tested through the programme in October and November 2010.
It is uncertain if Xstrata Coal gained access to results of the screenings, but the NUM
alleges that the company does know the results. A private service provider was
contracted to do the screenings and results are supposed to be shared only with the
NUM Highveld Regional Secretary Paris Mashego accused the company of dragging
backward the campaign to test for the pandemic and said the NUM will continue to press
for the real motive behind Xstrata‟s reversal. Late this week, NUM delegates and shop
stewards from many Xstrata worksites will descend on the company‟s Johannesburg
headquarters to manifest against the injustice.
“What we experience here with Xstrata is the same thing our Australian comrades of the
CFMEU experience with the company,” said Mashego. “They cannot accept official
rulings and must always appeal their losses in order to get their way. Only in this case,
there is something fundamentally wrong, the anonymity and confidentially of HIV-positive
The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers‟ Union (NEHAWU) of South Africa
also responded negatively to Xstrata Coal‟s alleged actions. “This ghastly and barbaric
behaviour by a company is a clear sign of how some big companies are failing to abide
by the ILO or the OECD Codes of Conduct by violating workers‟ rights and working
“This alleged discrimination against workers who are HIV-positive is a huge blow to the
government‟s fight against AIDS,” stated a NEHAWU spokesman, “because it sends a
message to those who have the disease that they will lose their jobs if they come out.”
Xstrata Coal South Africa, 20% owned by African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., operates 11
coal mines in South Africa, and is currently developing three new projects – the Arthur
Taylor Colliery Opencast Mine (ATCOM) East development, the Goedgevond coal
project, and optimisation of the Zonnebloem project, all in Mpumalanga province.
Together with the Tweefontein optimisation project now nearing completion, the projects
will eventually produce 90% of the company‟s South African coal output. (ICEM, 2011).
Members of the community contest the claim by Xstrata that it employs almost
exclusively from local communities. According to the residents of Tlhabane
Township, Xstrata is heavily reliant on contract workers. This reliance has resulted in
a squatter camp mushrooming on a swampy piece of land that separates Tlhabane
from the Xstrata operations. The Tlhabane residents claim that the occupants of this
informal settlement are foreigners. The Bojanala District has seen frequent
outbreaks of xenophobic attacks over the years. GENERAL
In Policy Gap 1 in 2007, the Bench Marks Foundation posted a number of
photographs showing poor environmental management of water and waste behind
Xstrata operations. We are pleased to note significant improvement of the water
management, waste management and security at both sites.
Private and public personalities
Aquarius Platinum Ltd in its own words: the Aquarius model & strategy
Business model
Aquarius Platinum has been uniquely successful in bringing into operation small, shallow, relatively lowgrade PGM deposits using innovative technologies and mining methodologies. The Company has
developed a clear set of differentiators which give it a significant competitive advantage over larger
conventional PGM producers which historically have tended to exploit the deeper, more capital-and
labour-intensive PGM deposits in South Africa.
Aquarius’ fundamental differentiators include:
Mechanised mining techniques, which are capital rather than labour intensive and bring with them a
higher degree of safety, lower power requirements and other innovations in design, mining and
processing which are now being emulated by some of the larger industry players.
Mining of shallow PGM deposits via decline shafts which require a fraction of the capital cost of more
conventional vertical shafts.
Contract mining and processing, which brings with it "bought-in" expertise and resources,
training capability and procurement power, allowing for a leaner and more cost-effective structure
and greater flexibility.
Selling concentrate directly to two customers on life-of-mine contracts, thereby eliminating the significant
financial and technical risks associated with the setting up and running of smelting and refining facilities,
and the need for marketing infrastructure.
Low overhead structure, from exploration to operations, management and corporate financing.
Access to international capital markets through its listings on the ASX, LSE JSE and Level 1 ADR in the
Aquarius has identified several strategic imperatives to facilitate the delivery of shareholder value in the
face of uncertain short-term market conditions and a challenging operating environment. These are:
To optimise costs and efficiencies at existing operations in order to improve or at least maintain the
position of these mines on the cost curve.
To seek growth through organic expansion or the acquisition of PGM properties which are:
 Contiguous with existing operations and capable of exploitation through existing infrastructure at low
capital cost.
 Relatively shallow, primarily UG2 ore bodies which lend themselves to the Group‟s established
mechanised mining techniques.
 To steadily grow production from current levels to the extent that it can be done profitably, while not
hesitating to cut loss making production.
 To evaluate the acquisition of other PGM companies with caution, in terms of earnings accretion
rather than potential increases in production.
 To remain a focused primary PGM producer, with a continued focus on southern Africa.
Aquarius is committed to functioning as efficiently as possible, containing costs and maximising profit for
the benefit of its shareholders while always remaining mindful of its stakeholders, including employees,
the communities surrounding its operations, business partners and suppliers.
Of paramount importance is the commitment to conduct our business safely, to cause „zero harm‟, to
respect the communities in and around our operations, to rehabilitate the land on which we have mined
and to interact with the relevant stakeholders with respect.
Aquarius‟ primary listing is on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The
company has secondary listings on the main market of the London Stock Exchange
(LSE) and the main board of the JSE Limited (JSE). Aquarius‟ primary South African
interests – the Kroondal, Marikana, Everest and Blue Ridge platinum mines – are
held by its wholy-owned subsidiary, AQPSA. Aquarius also has a 50% interest in the
Mimosa Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe, in partnership with Implats, which is jointly
managed. The Group also has 50% stakes in two tailings retreatment plants, CTRP
and Platinum Mile (Aquarius, 2010, p. 14).
Some specific issues regarding the private and public personality will now be
Aquarius has adopted a continuous review process whereby strategic risks are
identified, monitored and actively managed through the allocation of appropriate
resources to address these risks. Currently, the focus is on the strategic risks
outlined below:
managing safety, health and environmental performance, with the aim of
achieving the goal of zero harm;
attracting and retaining the requisite skills, and ensuring that structures are
in place to deliver on production objectives in an efficient manner, as set out
in the Group‟s stated strategic plan. The company places an emphasis on
participation in all business activities;
maintaining unit production costs in the lowest quartile of the industry;
maintaining the safe, efficient and productive use of contractors on key
operations of the Group;
maintaining effective project management processes and skills to ensure
successful project implementation and delivery at operations;
protecting and maintaining the security and reliability of physical assets;
retaining process, systems and management technology competitiveness;
continually reviewing, evaluating and developing growth opportunities for the
Group through acquisition, organic growth and exploration;
retaining permission to operate, on a fully compliant basis, within a dynamic
legal and regulatory environment;
managing the socio-political uncertainties that affect the Zimbabwe
addressing relevant issues regarding corporate responsibility, and being
recognised as a good corporate citizen in the countries and communities in
which the company operates;
ensuring that impacts on the business in terms of utility supply disruptions
are minimised; and
ensuring that risks associated with suppliers and logistics are minimised. BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
BEE, as envisaged by South African minerals legislation, is a vital policy instrument
for the broadening of the equity ownership base of the South African economy, and a
potential stimulus for greater economic growth and employment.
Savannah Resources Consortium (SavCon), a leading BEE entity, holds a 13.7%
stake in the Aquarius Group. SavCon originally held a 29.5% stake in AQPSA‟s
operations, which fell briefly to 26.0% following a sale to meet certain tax obligations
of SavCon, before rising again to 32.5% of AQPSA as a result of the repurchase of
Impala Platinum‟s stake in AQPSA. SavCon‟s 32.5% stake in Aquarius‟ South
African operations was then transferred to the holding company. While this BEE
transaction was originally undertaken at an operating company level, it was always
the company‟s intention to deliver to SavCon a meaningful interest in the listed
SavCon comprises of three individual entities:
Savannah Resources, which is a black-owned mining and resources
investment company focusing on precious and non-ferrous metals mining in
South Africa. Headed by Zwelakhe Sisulu, Savannah Resources forms the
core of the BEE consortium.
Chuma Holdings, which is a BEE fund owned by women and led by Andy
Kawa and HRH Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini. The primary beneficiaries
of the fund are two trusts created to benefit HDSA‟s in the fields of
education, health and social welfare. Chuma is a private company
incorporated by Chuma Holdings (Pty) Limited.
Malibongwe, which is a controlled investment of the Malibongwe Women‟s
Development Organisation, a non-governmental, non-profit organisation
focusing on the women of South Africa and, in particular, on the plight of the
poorest of the poor. CREATING EMPLOYMENT
In the Financial Year 2010, Aquarius employed 11 072 people (1 729 employees and
9 343 contractor employees). This is an increase of 34% on the previous year,
largely as a result of the continued ramp up of operations at Everest and the
integration in July 2009 of Blue Ridge into the operations.
Given the skills shortages that exist in South Africa, and the employment equity
imperatives that the Company is seeking to meet, a great deal of emphasis is placed
on the recruitment, development and retention of employees. Particular emphasis is
placed on representation in the ranks of management by HDSA‟s and women in
mining occupations.
At the South African operations, 51% of employees are local to any given operation
that is drawn from within a 50km radius. Marikana has been particularly successful in
achieving this.
Table 7: Percentage of employees at SA operations living within a 50km radius of the
Blue Ridge
SA operations
% Local
In line with the requirements of the South Africa Mining Charter, AQPSA does not
discriminate against employees who are not South African. At the South African
operations, about 60% of the workforce is between the ages of 30 and 60 years old
and 40% are below 30 years. Despite these claims, the community of Ikemeleng
protested against the lack of employment of locals by Aquarius. The 50km radius
test disguises the high numbers of migrant workers living in backyard shacks in local
communities. The fact that they are now local residents in squatter camps does not
infer that they are no longer migrant workers. In its 2010 report, the International
Organisation on Migration found that about 60% of workers in the mining sector in
South Africa are from neighbouring countries, mainly from Lesotho, Mozambique
and Swaziland (International Organisation on Migration, 2010). ACCOMMODATION AND NUTRITION
South Africa, AQPSA and contractor employees have
number of
accommodation options available to them in the form of private dwellings and rental
accommodation in the private sector and hostels. Employees not making use of
company provided accommodation, qualify for a monthly housing allowance which
varies depending on job category, and which forms part of annual wage negotiations
(Aquarius, 2010, p. 26). A monthly housing allowance is reference to the living-out
At the end of June 2010, approximately 22% of employees resided in hostel
accommodation and 59% in private sector accommodation, with about 18% selecting
other options. On-site hostels at Kroondal were closed in November 2009 following
the dismissal of the entire workforce as a result of unprotected strike action. Hostel
dwellers were temporarily relocated to Anglo Platinum‟s Phula single quarters,
pending the outcome of the development of a revised AQPSA housing policy and
strategy. The focus of AQPSA‟s housing strategy is:
to provide a holistic approach to improve employee housing and living
to promote home ownership and family accommodation; and
to facilitate the affordability of accommodation/housing (Aquarius, 2010,
p. 26).
AQPSA has made land available adjacent to the Ikemeleng Township next to its
Kroondal Mine. If the land is approved by the local and provincial authorities as
accommodation options on this piece of land. Investigations are currently being
conducted to assess the viability of the land for employee housing needs.
Table 8: The accommodation profile of Aquarius employees on its South African operations
(Aquarius, 2010, p. 26)
Type of accommodation
Private sector rental
Hostel accommodation
Private dwellings
In South Africa, AQPSA has dedicated community relations officers at each mine.
Their role includes engaging with local communities, developing an understanding of
their needs and working together with them, Local Government and different
governmental departments to find solutions to the identified needs. AQPSA‟s
corporate responsibility and LED initiatives are developed and undertaken at each
operation, so that they address these specific needs and ensure that the community
most directly affected by the operation reaps the benefits (Aquarius, 2010, p. 34).
AQPSA has a Social and Labour Plan (SLP) for each of its operations in which the
Company has committed to specific social responsibility and LED plans and targets
for a period of five years. These SLP‟s have been developed in conjunction with local
communities, and most projects are informed by the Integrated Development Plans
(IDP‟s) of the district and local municipalities within which each mine operates.
The overall objective of these plans is to invest in and develop targeted local
economic and social ventures and infra-structure in communities that should be
sustainable beyond the life of the mine. There are three broad priority areas of
investment, namely:
capital investment in education infra-structure (schools, classrooms and
operational costs);
capital investment in social infra-structure (bulk water, sanitation, town
planning, formalisation of informal settlements); and
small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) development supplying the
The fundamental driver behind all of the identified projects has been to ensure that
stakeholders are given the necessary support so they can assist themselves towards
sustainable development that is less dependent on the mine, particularly given the
relatively short life of AQPSA‟s operations (Aquarius, 2010, p. 34).
All identified projects and other forms of assistance have been developed through
consultative forums with the local residents and key stakeholders, using appropriate
public and private development facilitators to further the concept of public-private
partnerships in LED.
The key projects in the Financial Year 2010 have been:
continued formalisation of Ikemeleng, infra-structure development and
operating costs of an early childhood development centre (ECD);
sustainable development projects, such as education infra-structure
development and SMME development and mentoring of local businesses;
infra-structure for the Lapologang Township, adjacent to Marikana
(Aquarius, 2010, p. 34).
The experienced personality of Aquarius as
reflected by the
communities of Ikemeleng and Marikana
The Bench Marks Foundation would like to acknowledge the detail of the Aquarius
report, particularly with regard to the communities within which it operates. However,
the interaction of the research team with the said communities made us aware of a
number of concerns which we believe the company must pay attention to. BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT – A CRITICAL VIEW
Since the time of Cecil John Rhodes, there has been a problematic relationship
between mining capital and political power in South Africa. Cecil Rhodes became
Prime Minister of the Cape Colony not out of a sense of duty or service, but to
advance his mining interests as he admitted in a speech in 1891: “If there is anything
that induced me to take the position of Prime Minister, it was the fact that I was
resolved in my mind that we should extend to the Zambezi.” His dual role as
business magnate and Prime Minister now gave him untold influence in Southern
African affairs (Maylam, 2005, p. 149). Robb Turrell (quoted in Maylam, 2005,
p. 149) notes that “Rhodes, as a representative of the mining industry, went to the
Cape Parliament to secure the conditions for the expanded reproduction of mining
capital…”. It could be argued that Rhodes effected „state capture‟ in the process of
becoming Prime Minister, and that the mining sector, forming the most important
component of the economic base of the country (Bond, 2005, p. 18), has managed
to control every government in South Africa since then, including the current one.
In Policy Gap 1 in 2007, the Bench Marks Foundation warned that having senior
politicians/civil servants and/or their family members on the boards of mining
companies or as BEE partners and shareholders, is extremely problematic and
undermining of democracy. The reasons for this are simple:
the regulatory role of government and its departments and institutions are
compromised if senior figures from the ruling political party are also
beneficiaries of mining; the labour, environmental, financial and social
functions of the state is compromised in such a situation;
the legislative and oversight roles of parliament are compromised if senior
parliamentarians of the majority and other parties are also beneficiaries of
the role of the state as neutral arbiter in disputes between ordinary citizens
and communities on the one hand and corporations on the other is
the effectiveness of ministers and senior civil servants is compromised not
only by their serving conflicting interests, but also by them doing more than
one job at a time, one paid for by taxpayers and the other by private
corporations - clearly the decision making by individuals finding themselves
so compromised will always favour the employer which pays the highest for
services which is invariably the corporation; and
the extent to which members of the judiciary are also on the take from the
mining sector in particular and the private sector in general should also be a
matter of further research, as this will compromise the independence of the
judiciary and influence decisions against workers and communities affected
and impacted on by mining.
The current legislation requiring parliamentarians, members of the executive and
senior civil servants to declare their economic interests is simply not sufficient, and is
certainly completely ineffective. This situation, the Bench Marks Foundation believes,
is at the heart of the cancer of corruption, which is eating away at the fabric of South
African society and is one of the major stumbling blocks to effective service delivery
to the poor in the country.
The Bench Marks Foundation fully supports broad based BEE, but the current BEE
model completely defeats any real broad based empowerment, and is systematically
eroding the institutions of democracy in the country.
With the above remarks in mind, the Bench Marks Foundation is disappointed by the
BEE information contained in the Aquarius report to the effect that Zwelake Sisulu,
HRH Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, and Malibongwe Women‟s Development
Agency are all beneficiaries of Aquarius shareholding. Mr Sisulu is closely
associated with one of the leading families of the ruling African National Congress
(ANC) party. Zenani Mandela-Dlamini is a daughter of Nelson Mandela, while the
Malibongwe Women‟s Development Agency is a project of the ANC Women‟s
League. It is very difficult not to conclude that the objectives of this empowerment
project are political patronage.
The assessment of possible political patronage is further supported when a
comparison is made of the operational managements at the group‟s operations at
Karee in Marikana and that of Mimosa in Zimbabwe. At Karee, only two out of eleven
operational managers are black, while at Mimosa all operational managers are black
(Aquarius, 2010, pp. 54-55). CREATING EMPLOYMENT
COSATU and NUM have been vocal against sub-contractors, outsourcing and
labour brokers, calling on the government to ban labour brokers outright and on
(COSATU, 2009, pp. 12 - 15). It is therefore surprising to note the heavy
dependence of Aquarius on contractors; of its total labour force of 11 072 people,
only 1 729 are direct permanent full-time employees, while 9 343 are contracted
COSATU and the NUM consider outsourcing and the use of contractors as a unionbashing strategy, as the degradation of work and wages, and as a means of
externalising costs that are associated with fulltime employment. The extraordinarily
heavy reliance of Aquarius on contractors raises more questions than answers. It
also makes a mockery of the claims by Aquarius that it almost exclusively employs
local labour (within a 50km radius of its operations). This emerged finally as a sham
when locals in Ikemeleng went on the rampage during a protest against the lack of
employment for locals in surrounding mines, including the operations of Aquarius, on
22 October 2011.
The SABC reported that Aquarius Platinum mine management has agreed to employ
local residents (SABC, 2011). Contractor labour usually resides in informal
settlements and we suspect that this is where most of the contract labour of Aquarius
resides, given the proximity of this settlement to the operations of the company, or in
contractor hostels. A major risk to all the corporations under review would be
periodic outbreaks of xenophobia. It is the considered opinion of the Bench Marks
Foundation that the housing and employment policies of the corporations under
review have xenophobia as an unintended consequence.
Photo 19: Ikemeleng informal settlement
Photo 20: Ikemeleng typical housing for subcontractor workers
It is in the context of Ikemeleng that Mamdani‟s „native‟ versus „settler‟ distinction
becomes most apparent. Local communities in Chaneng, Marikana and Ikemeleng
are increasingly demanding employment preference in mines surrounding their
communities, and they do not consider migrants imported from elsewhere and
renting shacks as local.
Xenophobic Wars: Remarks by Ikemeleng Resident
As mining is depending heavily on migrant workers, this results in Rustenburg being
one of the towns affected by the influx of people who comes from different places in
search for employment. Thus emerges places like informal settlements that become
the nearest places for the employees to live in. The one reason being not enough
accommodation for them.
As our village of Ikemeleg is one of the places that have been affected by these
migrant workers, tension between the non citizens with the citizen is very rife when
coming to sharing the little resources that we have as community.
As we are living in this situation whereby we still have to queue for water for almost a
day, this is where you hear of the most hatred talks amongst the Africans. Whereby
people boasting of being better than others in terms of being citizens. Whereby you
hear people who are entitled to vote expecting to be the first one to be served.
People who are doing business in Ikemeleng are not good in the way they relate with
others because they claim that they pay tax while others don‟t pay, seeing it unfair
because they stand to lose while others benefit unfairly.
We are high lighting this issue while it is still time for we expect serious measures to be
taken to redeem this plague of hatred amongst the Africans. Because all this fuels
tribalism and gangsterism.
We feel again that ignoring this will be a serious blunder, for we feel that delaying in
implementing what was in the national anthem called services delivery will also
contribute to that dilemma. As we will hear people who did not qualify to vote accusing
the voters by voting for nothing as they suffer the same conditions .This is the situation
we are living in Ikemeleng.
Aquarius has 38% of its employees on South African operations living in private
accommodation. It must be remembered that only 1 729 of its 11 072 employees are
permanent, non contracted employees. Employees on the living-out allowance and
working for sub-contractors throughout the Bojanala District live in appalling
conditions, either in backyard shacks or in shacks in informal settlements
We have already noted the problems associated with the employment of a largely
contract labour force. The focus of Aquarius on Ikemeleng in terms of CSR
expenditure and its attempts to assist with the formalisation of Ikemeleng are
probably in recognition of the fact that many of its employees reside there. However,
the formalisation process is creating tensions in a very diverse community.
Residents who have migrated into the community fear that the Rustenburg council
will give RDP houses to be constructed only to locals.
Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited (RBPL)
Private and public personalities
RBPL (Previously Royal Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mines – RBRPM) is 57%
owned by Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) and 40% owned by foreign shareholders.
RBH claims to be “…a community-based investment company, responsible for the
management and development of the commercial assets of the Royal Bafokeng
Nation (RBN), with the overall business objective of optimising returns to enable the
RBN to deliver sustainable benefits to the community” (Royal Bafokeng Holdings,
2010, p. 3). It is important to note that RBH claims to be a „community-based
investment company‟ not a „community owned investment company‟, and it is in this
distinction that the myth of the wealthiest tribe in Africa is constructed.
The Royal Bafokeng Development Trust is in turn the sole shareholder of RBH
“…and the former‟s overarching developmental mission – Vision 2020 – is financed
mainly through dividends and interest income generated by RBH. This vision seeks
to create opportunities for the Bafokeng people to become participants in the
regional and national economy of South Africa by the end of 2020, thus ensuring a
community that is competitive, thriving and self-sufficient. In striving to bring Vision
2020 to fruition, RBH has adopted a long term investment view and has sought to
diversify its investment portfolio in an attempt to lessen the reliance on platinum as a
source of wealth. To this end, RBH‟s commercial investment portfolio currently
comprises interests in the telecommunications, services infrastructure, financial and
manufacturing sectors, in addition to the company‟s significant holdings in the mining
industry” (Royal Bafokeng Holdings, 2010, p. 4).
Royal Bafokeng in its own words:
Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), a black-owned and -controlled mid-tier platinum
group metals (PGMs) producer, originates from a joint venture – Bafokeng Rasimone
Platinum Mine Joint Venture (BRPM JV) – between Anglo Platinum and Royal
Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a community-based investment company owned by the
Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN).
Following a restructuring of the BRPM JV in December 2009, RBPlat obtained a 67%
majority interest as well as operational control from 4 January 2010, and translated this
interest into a public vehicle through its listing on the JSE Limited (JSE: RBP) on 8
November 2010.
The joint venture was formed to exploit PGMs in the Merensky and UG2 Reefs on the
Boschkoppie, Styldrift and Frischgewaagd farms in the Rustenburg area which have
been identified as hosting the last undeveloped Merensky Reef on the western limb of
the Bushveld Complex. The BRPM JV produces approximately 270,000 PGM ounces
per annum and has a total resource base of 73 million PGM ounces (4E*).
RBPlat‟s assets are situated on the northerly extent of the western limb, 120km from
Johannesburg and 30km from Rustenburg and just 17km from Phokeng, the heart of
the RBN community in the North West Province of South Africa. The Bushveld
Complex hosts approximately 80% of the world‟s known platinum resources.
The historical information that follows here is extracted from the RBH 2010 Annual
Report. There appears to be no 2012 RBPL Annual Report. This is an unexplained
To establish the Royal Bafokeng Nation‟s patrimony it purchases the land
(1 200 km2) that the nation had occupied historically.
Platinum is discovered in the Bushveld Complex (BIC) of which the land
owned by the RBN is part. The BIC is the world‟s largest PGM deposit.
Discussions take place between RBN and Anglo Platinum to form a joint
Site of future BRPM (then known as Rasimone Mine) established.
In terms of its private and public personality, the following critical points will be put
under the magnifying lens. OWNERSHIP
RBPlat is a newly established company created from the restructuring of the BRPM
joint venture between RBH and Anglo Platinum Limited. The restructuring has
resulted in the ownership and control of the mining operations of the joint venture
vesting in the RBH. RBPlat is a black-owned and controlled, mid-tier PGM‟s
producer (Royal Bafokeng Holdings, 2010, p. 36).
RBPlat listed in November 2010, and produced a sustainability report which is in
accordance with GRI and which achieved a B+ Application Level. The company
intends to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project in the future. Accountability for
sustainability issues rests with the Board, while senior management is responsible
for addressing these concerns. The company is also compliant with King III
(Royal Bafokeng Holdings, 2010, p. 36).
Figure 9: Geographical spread of public investors in BRPL in 2010 (Bafokeng Platinum,
2010, p. 3)
Geographical spread of public investors
Southern Africa
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of the World
Rest of Europe
“They tell us that the mine belongs to us. But we have never even set eyes on a
share certificate. Our community has never seen revenue from this mine, nor have
we been consulted on how to spend that money from the mine. We have never been
part of the budget process of either the mine or of the Royal Bafokeng Nation”.
(Gomolemo, Luka resident). RISK MANAGEMENT
BRPM has been ISO 14001-certified since 2002 and measures to mitigate and
manage the company‟s major environmental risks have been implemented. These
risks include:
clean and dirty water separation;
releases to soil – hydrocarbon spillages;
releases to air – dust;
surface- and groundwater contamination – high nitrate levels; and
waste management – generation and disposal.
To deal with these issues, action plans have been developed to manage clean and
dirty water separation, and systems are either being put in place or their efficacy
tested for the prevention and management of all other environmental concerns.
Within the next two to five years, RBPlat aims to develop an environmental strategy,
implement a waste recycling programme and improve the company‟s water
treatment facilities. There were no significant environmental incidents during the year
under review (Royal Bafokeng Holdings, 2010, p. 36). There were, however, three
fatalities at BRPM during 2010. STAKEHOLDER INTERACTION
A stakeholder engagement framework has been developed and this, in conjunction
with a communications strategy, is currently being rolled out. RBPlat is working on
addressing the complaints that have been received from the surrounding
communities, which include the perceived lack of employment opportunities and the
lack of opportunities for local SMME‟s. RBPlat spent a total of R13 million on CSI
during the company‟s financial year (July 2009 to June 2010); though the majority of
this was spent during 2009, as 2010 was a year of consolidation for the company,
especially in respect of social delivery. Currently, RBPlat‟s primary CSI focus areas
include poverty alleviation and job creation, education, health and basic infrastructure (Royal Bafokeng Holdings, 2010, p. 36).
“All the developments take place in Phokeng where the king stays, we don‟t see any
development here in Chaneng. We want a building for our traditional council”.
(Mchizo, Chaneng resident). HIV/AIDS
RBPlat is particularly involved in HIV/AIDS awareness generation and education,
and has an HIV/AIDS co-ordinator on the mine responsible for both the HIV/AIDS
programme and the wellness programme. During 2010, 285 employees were trained
as peer educators and regular campaigns are undertaken to inform employees on
HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. In the community, RBPlat is involved in feeding
schemes which assist HIV-positive community members as well as orphans and
vulnerable children. RBPlat is committed to the principles of the Broad-based
Socioeconomic Empowerment Charter (the Mining Charter) for the South African
mining industry and the Mining Charter Scorecard, established to monitor
performance against the Mining Charter (Royal Bafokeng Holdings, 2010, p. 36).
The experienced personality of the Bafokeng Platinum Mines (Chaneng
and Luka Communities)
The views of the relevant two communities in the area, Chaneng and Luka, - through
their perceptions - sketched a different picture of the Bafokeng. THE CONTESTED HISTORY OF LANDOWNERSHIP
Many communities contest the RBN version of history, particularly the part that reads
“…to establish the Royal Bafokeng Nation‟s patrimony it purchases the land
(1 200 km2) that the nation had occupied historically”. The people of Luka and
Chaneng claim that the purchase of land was not made by a single entity called the
RBN, but was separate purchases made by separate communities; the descendants
of those who purchased the farms have formed the Bafokeng Land Buyers
Table 9: Record of farms bought by communities in the late 19th and early 20th century in the
area now broadly known as Phokeng (Breutz, 1987)
Name of Farm
Size in
263 JQ
120 JQ
10ha – Herm Luth. Mission
Formerly trust lands and
village port lands
Old Deeds
Lands and village lands, small
portion SA Railways
Bought by chief
Grazing, chief‟s family
Port E,D; lands, grazing
Grazing registered in the
name of Tumagole
Bought in the name of a chief
Lands, village
Name of Farm
Old Deeds
Size in
Lands and grazing
Northern portion A
Northern portion C (S half
Lands, Village
Formerly trust
Portion C private lands
Lands bought by chief and
five others
Lands and village
Lands and village bought by 3
Private bought by group
Formerly trust
Grazing bought by Chief
Formerly Trust
Bernard Mbenga notes the following during the time of the Transvaal Republic and
later the Union of South Africa: “Due to the legal inability of black people to buy land
in their own name, they turned to the missionaries who worked among them for
assistance... the Bafokeng at Phokeng near Rustenburg... were assisted by the Rev.
Penzhorn” (Mbenga, 1996, p. 207). What is clear from the table above is that not all
land which is considered under the control of the Bafokeng nation today was bought
simultaneously, or that it was bought as part of a common collective decision with
the greater aim of uniting the Bafokeng people on a single territory.
Some land was bought by individuals, others by clans or family groups, others by
sub-tribes. Those who bought the land did so to sustain their agricultural way of life.
In distorting the history of land acquisition, the authors of the RBH, RBN and RBP
reports seek to deny individual, family or clan claim on the land by seeking to create
the false impression that land was acquired collectively. It is to emphasise collective
traditional rights over individual civil rights in the worst tradition of British indirect rule,
only this time it is mining corporations who are promoting it and benefiting from it. A GRAVE MATTER – THE RBN, RBH, RBP AS CUSTODIANS OF
The Royal Bafokeng Authority claims to uphold and promote the cultural and
heritage interests of the Bafokeng people as a whole. Its commercial investment in
mining and other ventures are held up as a means of generating the resources
through which the social, cultural, heritage and economic interests of the Bafokeng
people can be sustained and promoted.
However, given these claims, the Bench Marks Foundation‟s research team was
surprised and dismayed to be taken to prospecting beacon / marker 212 for the new
contested Styldrift mine. There, in the middle of the veld, the team found a
desecrated burial site. A prospecting team prospected right on top of the site.
According to informants, the Tswana workers on the prospecting team warned their
supervisors that this was a burial site. The supervisors ignored these warnings. The
desecration of graves is an offence in terms of South African Heritage legislation,
and any EIA done by Styldrift managers (Styldrift mine is being developed by Royal
Bafokeng Platinum) should have identified, marked out and protected these graves.
The desecration of these graves, the contest over land, the lack of benefits derived
from mining in close proximity to their village, and a lack of employment opportunities
for local youth has brought the Bachanang people of Chaneng into conflict with the
Royal Bafokeng Authority, RBPlat and the management of Styldrift mine. In a
meeting mediated by the provincial government and attended by a joint task team of
the Chaneng Kgotla (headman‟s council), the RBA, RBH and RBP, one of the young
people from Chaneng, Masilo made the following impassioned plea: “This is our
land, this is our heritage, that platinum under the soil is our wealth. We will fight for it.
We might be poor but we know what is ours and we will defend it”.
The Bafokeng Land Buyers Association in its own words: 29 March 2011
A brief on the ‘Public Policy Dialogue on Mining, Communities, and Workers’
Conference funded by the Foundation for Human Rights
The Bafokeng Land Buyers Association (BLBA) made a presentation on the
struggles waged by communities forming the Bafokeng „tribe‟ at the conference
funded by the Foundation for Human Rights, held in Johannesburg on the 01-02
February 2011. - reflects Thusi Rapoo.
The Conference was attended by community-based organisations from around the
country engaged in vicious battles against mining companies operating in their
areas. Academic papers were presented by experts on acid mine drainage that
destroys ecosystems and water quality particularly in areas around gold mining
towns; the cluttered State heritage resource management regime which condones
the bombing and excavation of graves by the mining companies; and the State‟s
land restitution and reform process which has failed to redress the land question.
The presenters painted a picture of State engineered maladministration, meant to
confuse and deprive desperate poor rural communities of access to Government
support around issues related to their land. Conflicting and overlapping Government
mandates create a state of confusion which the mines can exploit and use to their
advantage. For instance, when Anglo Platinum blew the graves of Sekuruwe
community in Limpopo their defence was that once they have complied with mining
laws overseen by the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), they need not
account to the National Heritage Resource Council who have jurisdiction on the
protection of graves. The uninformed poor rural communities would be left to guess
as to which Government department to approach for intervention.
Local Municipalities, who bear the brunt of bad mining practices, cannot hold the
mines to account as they are often told that mining is a National competency,
meaning therefore that the mines are only answerable to the national DME, and not
the Municipalities.
In 1992, the World Bank released a policy framework to guide the new South African
government on land and minerals. It has become clear that all the administrative
confusion created around issues related to land ownership and control is deliberate,
promoted and supported to empower multinational companies in their exploitation of
resources (minerals and environment) and is done to the detriment and
disempowerment of the affected land owners. At worst, such control of strategic
resources (land and minerals) by a few elite at National level can be used by the
West, through their agents (the World Bank, IMF and their imperialist multinational
mining and agricultural companies) to ferment ethnic clashes within the ruling party
and amongst communities.
Photo 21: Prospecting marker: SD212 Styldrift mine with remaining grave of community burial
site in the background
The RBH representatives did not bother to show up for the meeting leading to the
members from the Chaneng Kgotla, demanding that the meeting discontinue and
that the provincial government write a strong letter of reprimand to RBN and RBH for
disrespecting the Chaneng community.
“After we protested, that is when they started listening to us. They wanted to meet
with us. For the first meeting they wanted us to meet at Sun City. We said, „no we
cannot meet you there. The community will think that you are buying us out, that you
are corrupting us.‟ We told them that „the only place you can meet with us is in the
village in the community, where everyone can see that we are meeting.” We also
thought let them come to us and see how we live, how underdeveloped our village is
despite their mines having been here for a very long time.” (Chaneng Youth Leader). OWNERSHIP AS SEEN FROM THE COMMUNITY
Not only are the people of Chaneng contesting the land question, but they are also
demanding a 30% ownership state in the Styldrift mine as compensation for having
given up their land for its development. Communities are increasingly rejecting the
usual offers of 1% or 2% share ownership, which they have to purchase at great
financial cost. Communities are also rejecting the usual compensation models
employed by mining corporations in evaluating community land and assets prior to
compensation. Communities demand that:
their land be valued inclusive of the value mineral reserves below the land;
the compensation includes a percentage of the total value of the mineral
reserves below the land; and
they are compensated for the loss of economic independence and self
reliance, because mining disrupts the pre-mining economy completely and
turns independent communities into communities entirely dependent on
Communities are also beginning to demand broad based ownership which allows
them to decide how to utilise resources generated from such ownership, rather than
having things done for them. Thus, the Chaneng Kgotla and the numerous other
villages are demanding up to 30% shares in local mines. When the Bench Marks
Foundation research team asked if the Kgotla in Chaneng had ever seen share
certificates indicating that they own shares in RBH or RBP, the answer was an
emphatic „no‟. When asked if they ever received dividends directly as a community,
the answer was again in the negative. Asked if the Chaneng community tribal council
received any money annually for their effective functioning, the answer was:
“…never, we are not even consulted about projects they claim to be doing „for‟ us”. HIV/AIDS AND HEALTH
Members of the Chaneng community claim that the local community clinic is not
coping with demand for health services. They also complain that the backyard
dwellers and informal settlers who are on the living-out allowance swell the number
of patients using the local clinic causing shortages in essential medicines such as
ARV‟s. They are also complaining that mining companies are referring workers to the
local clinic instead of treating them at mine health facilities. A mine worker, when
asked by a member of the community about his presence at the local clinic replied:
“I‟m working as a contract worker at the Rasimone mines, so I‟m not privileged on
some medication in the mine clinic. For example, I was sick and in need of an X-Ray,
but they transferred me to Chaneng clinic”.
Other mine workers frequent the village clinics out of fear that should their health
conditions, especially lung functions are discovered, they will be boarded and
The Chaneng youth are also concerned about the double standards that the mines
apply in terms of labour recruitment. They complain that they are unable to secure
jobs at the surrounding Impala and Bafokeng mines, because they are invariably told
that they do not have experience or maths and science.
The youth became particularly incensed when Shaft Sinkers, who are developing
Styldrift Mine on behalf Bafokeng Platinum, allegedly appointed a lamp-clerk all the
way from Welkom in the Free State. Lamp clerks manage the hat lamps that are
issued to workers before every shift and collect the lamps when workers come off
shifts. The youth wanted to know if a lamp clerk required experience, matric or maths
and science. The youth questioned the policy of importing labour in preference to
building a local skills base. Most mining operations prefer to import labour because
they wish to get into production as quickly as possible and consider skilling/training
as a costly delay to the production process. However, importing labour has a number
of social costs to surrounding communities:
communities have to house the mostly single men who are imported either in
back yard shacks or in informal settlements;
the imported men look to gratify themselves sexually with local women, this
contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections
(STI‟s), and increasing levels of violence;
the imported labour does not necessarily recognise the local traditional
authorities, and therefore undermine social cohesion; and
the imported labour does not only deprive locals of job opportunities, but also
puts a strain on state services such as health and welfare. This leads to local
resentment and can contribute to outbreaks of xenophobic attacks. SPECIFIC ISSUES FROM LUKA VILLAGE
Luka village also falls under the control of the Royal Bafokeng Authority and they are
also contesting the control of what they consider to be their land by the RBA and
have an ongoing court case regarding the matter. The Luka monitors did their own
small perception interviews with families resident in the village. The tables below
represent their findings.
Table 10: Number of families interviewed per section of the village
Number of families
Employment profiles of interviewed families
The table below shows the employment profile of the families interviewed:
Table 11: Employment profile of families interviewed by Luka monitors
Total number of people by gender
Total number of working people
Total number of people working in a
mine related activity
Total number of people of working age
who are unemployed
Total number in school or
Total number who are below school
going age
Total number who are too old to work/on
pension or disabled etc.
72 (44.7%)
45 (27.9%)
37 (25.5%)
12 (8.27%)
109 (35.6%)
57 (18.62%)
28 (17.39%)
30 (20.68%)
58 (18.95%)
38 (23.60%)
28 (19.31%)
66 (21.57%)
18 (11.18%)
21 (14.48%)
39 (12.74%)
9 (5.59%)
20 (13.79%)
29 (9.44%)
The table above shows very high levels of unemployment in Luka Village, despite
the presence of a large number of shafts owned by both Bafokeng Platinum and
Impala Platinum. This also implies that there are few goods and services procured
by these mining companies from local communities, and that there is hardly any
small and medium enterprise development taking place in these villages.
Family monthly income for Luka Village
Table 12: Total monthly family income for interviewed families
R0 to
8.92% 10.71% 16.07%
66.4% earn less than R5000 per month
Did not
The table shows that 66.4% of families interviewed earn less than R5 000 per month
(roughly US$ 625), while 27.2% of those interviewed live below the portion of people
whose income is less than US$ 10 a day. This village, like the others reviewed in this
study, exists in the shadows of some of the richest platinum mines on the planet.
Health and respiratory problems in the Luka Community
The Luka monitors asked families interviewed: “Does anybody in your family suffer
from any one of the following health problems: tight chest, coughing, wheezing,
difficulty with breathing, irritation of the eyes, asthma?”
Table 13: Respiratory health issues in the Luka Community
School Aged Child
Total suffering
Total interviewed
78 (25.49%)
48 (15.68%)
Admitted to
14 (4.57%)
Resulting in
12 (3.92%)
Earlier in the report, the symptoms of platinosis were discussed. We also noted the
self admitted exceedances of SO2 and CO2 into the atmosphere by the processing
operations of the reviewed mining corporations, all also admit to contributing to dust
particles in the atmosphere. Community members complain of respiratory problems
and these problems are linked to the mining operations in the area. However,
because of the numerous processing and smelting operations in the district, it is
difficult to attribute the source of origin to a single processing or smelting operation.
The Bench Marks Foundation believes that the mining companies should be held
collectively responsible for respiratory problems in the communities affected.
Other problems experienced by Luka Community as identified by the
monitor survey of Luka families
The Luka community monitors then asked families if they or their family experienced
any problems resulting from mining activity. The table below tabulates the key
Table 14: Problems attributed to mining by families interviewed by Luka monitors
1. Cracked houses
2. Open cast blasting
3. Air Pollution
4. Health
5. Crime
6. Migrants
7. Water
8. Overcrowding
9. Noise
10. Transport
Luka Section ( See Below)
% out of
23.2 %
No. of Interviews
This shows that the community does not consider the mines around them as good
neighbours, good citizens or good personalities. The issue of cracked housing is a
perennial problem, as is the standard response from mining companies to the effect
that “…we employed independent experts to assess the cracks and they found that
the cracks are not caused by mining, but by poor building and construction of the
houses”. The Bench Marks Foundation would like to make the following comments in
this regard:
village houses throughout the North West Province are constructed along
much the same designs and patterns everywhere, yet the cracking of houses
occur mostly in villages in close proximity to mining operations;
most of the fatal accidents particularly at Impala mines in close proximity to
Luka and Chaneng are related to falls of ground; this indicates heightened
levels of seismic activity, i.e. tremors in the area. Such tremors are caused
by the impact of mines on faults; and
according to Impala, most of the mines near Chaneng and Luka are between
500 meters and 1 000 meters deep; this implies that the mines are
sufficiently shallow for them to cause surface tremors during blasting. This
situation is similar in Marikana where Lonmin operates its Karee shafts and
where houses also suffer from extensive cracking.
Considering that these are relatively low income families who use large portions of
their savings to construct and maintain their houses, the Bench Marks Foundation
finds the dismissive attitudes of mining companies to the issue of cracked housing
very problematic and a denial of social responsibility.
Corporate personalities assessed
From the outset it must be stated that all of the corporations under review greatly
improved their reporting as compared with 2007. There is a much greater honesty in
the reports and it would seem as if a number of issues, such as the redeployment of
workers disabled at work, reporting on platinosis in the case of Anglo Platinum, and
admission of environmental exceedances, are now being reported on in much more
detail. In this sense there is greater convergence between public and private
personalities of the companies reviewed.
However, the way in which communities and individual members of the public living
in close proximity to the operations of the companies under review experience them
as neighbours, show a complete lack of synergy between the first two personality
aspects and the last one. There are a number of reasons for this:
CSR programmes are top-down, designed by experts and imposed on
communities; there is very little evidence that communities are actually
consulted about their needs, or about their frustrations concerning the impact
of mining operations on their lives.
Mining companies are obsessed with cutting costs and of reporting low cost
operations to shareholders. The Bench Marks Foundation is not convinced
that low cost operations are sustainable, safe, and healthy for workers or
communities, or in the long term interests of the shareholders. Cost cutting is
usually at the expense of the environment, labour and communities. Cost
cutting on safety leads to high fatalities and to the Department of Mineral
Resources halting operations every time there is an accident. Cost cutting
leads to worker strikes to protest low wages and to protest unsafe working
conditions. Cost cutting leads to the externalisation of costs to society, thus
the living-out allowance must represent a huge saving on the costs of
running hostels; however, the living-out allowance has shifted the costs of
housing, feeding, entertaining and reproducing workers to often very low
resourced communities who themselves benefit very little from the mines.
Mining companies are chasing numerical targets set by the Mining Charter,
such as for the representation of HDSA and women. Although these targets
are far too low, they are often the ceiling beyond which companies seem
incapable of going. What is even more concerning, is the fact that little
thought is given to the unintended social/cultural, economic, health, safety
and environmental consequences of chasing numerical targets, without
transforming the workplace culture or considering the anthropological,
sociological and psychological impact of decisions. The chasing of the
gender target is a case in point. The issue of demographical representativity
is another highly problematic question. Mines cannot be satisfied with
achieving a 40% target for black South Africans in skilled and management
positions as required by the Mining Charter. Surely the aim should be to
reflect the demographic reality of South Africa. If companies in Zimbabwe
and Botswana can run successful operations with almost entirely black
management and labour forces, there is no reason that the same cannot be
achieved in South Africa. Mining companies are quick to lament the poor
state of education in South Africa. However, they are slow to answer the
question of why there is no mining college or technical school in Rustenburg
sponsored by the mines with the aim of skilling local communities. This is
despite the fact that platinum mining in Bojanala District started as long ago
as 1931 in the case of Rustenburg Platinum, and in 1968 in the case of
Impala Platinum.
The shocking disregard for community safety as demonstrated by the many
unguarded rail and road crossings in Luka, Chaneng, Rustenburg Town and
Marikana, where most operations are in excess of 40 years old,
demonstrates the attitude of mining companies in Bojanala not only to
community concerns, but also to the whole notion of CSR.
The tendency to sell off cost externalisations as CSR is yet another worrying
issue. The Bench Marks Foundation is concerned that housing policies
which try to sell bank driven housing programmes, in which employees pay
for their houses, while pretending that it is a cost to the corporation, is
dishonest to say the least. The interests on bonds means that the employee
ends up paying far more for the housing than what it costs to build, and while
the mining corporation recovers all its losses incurred in the construction of
the houses, the banks get rich from the monthly deductions from workers‟
wages. We are not surprised that the uptake is low, or that most workers
prefer the option of the living-out allowance, even if that means a shack in a
squatter camp. We also noted that this type of policy is a form of labour
Another very problematic development is the issuing of shares to
communities and workers (see section Multi-million Rand BEE Deal
for Communities). The problem here is that communities do not receive
these shares for free, but have to pay for them, this despite the fact that the
current MPRDA environment virtually allows for corporate land grabs from
communities at levels of compensation that are extremely low. The Bench
Marks Foundation takes the position that communities should be
compensated for any land lost to mining operations, on a calculation that
would give communities a percentage of the value of the mineral reserves
under their land.
The Bench Marks Foundation is also concerned by community reports to the
effect that corporations are finding creative means of shifting their health
responsibilities to their employees, unto the village and public health infrastructure. We increasingly find a state serving corporate interests instead of
public interests in health, education and social services.
The Bench Marks Foundation is concerned about the continuing practice of
attempted state capture by mining corporations, and we are disappointed
that despite our warnings in 2007, we find companies courting political
influence through the deployment of prominent politicians to boards and to
senior management.
The Bafokeng Model should be questioned (see discussion under section Multi-million Rand BEE Deal for Communities). The Bench Marks
Foundation considers this model a form of community capture rather than a
model of community participation. There is no doubt that the model has
generated immense wealth, but despite this, it has achieved very little
welfare and negligent human development. What we see in the area under
the control of the RBN is an emphasis on customary rights constructed along
the lines of the old British model of indirect rule, which gives prominence to
the despotic in traditional society, while undermining the democratic aspects
of that society. It is a system that has served mining capital well for more
than a century of colonialism and Apartheid, but it should not as a system be
encouraged in a democratic post-Apartheid society, particularly in that it
deprives the individual of civil rights while making him or her vanish into the
collective community assumed by customary rights. Mahmood Mamdani
correctly identifies this as a primary cause of state failure in post colonial
We note with trepidation that some of the Impala shafts are nearing the end
of their lifespan, and hope that these shafts will not be sold off as BEE
projects (see section Sustainability). The Bench Marks Foundation
rejects the practice of mining corporations that sell off their environmental
mess and closure responsibilities to unsuspecting „Juniors‟ mining
companies. The Bench Marks Foundation notes that the mess with water in
Johannesburg derives exactly from corporations abandoning or selling off
mines just before closure. We call on government to legislate against this
nefarious practice.
The research team notes with concern the health and welfare status of
communities living in close proximity to mines in the Bojanala District. The
impact of the import of labour rather than the skilling of locals not only
deprives locals of economic and employment opportunities, but also impacts
on their health and welfare. There is a direct link, in our opinion, between
HIV/AIDS and the living-out allowance (of great concern here is the
appearance of sexual slavery, or the commodification of the female body –
we noted examples of women being brought in from Mozambique for the
purpose of sex slavery, and the renting of daughters to mine workers). We
are also concerned about dust and smoke emissions and respiratory
problems experienced by communities.
By excluding communities from real participation and shared ownership in
the mines, the mining companies are excluding themselves from
communities. By creating for themselves identities loyal to foreign ownership
and shareholding to the extent of even delisting from the JSE and relisting in
London, mining corporations are assuming a foreign identity and a foreign
personality lacking in patriotism. In doing so, operations assume the form of
laagers, and management at operational level adopt a laager mentality
which can only end in conflict with local communities. The seething anger in
communities about their experience of corporations is demonstrated in the
block below derived from the community report:
The reports from the different communities show that CSR is a lie. Mines make a lot
of promises when they enter and when they make social labour plans. In their reports
they talk about how much they are doing for the community as part of their CSR. As
a community we experience arrogant mine officials, who use their resources to avoid
community organisations and only deal with individuals whom they can control. When
they set up community projects they do not consult with the community but only
selected individual. We see many projects which have failed or which simply serves a
few individuals.
Mining companies initiate most of these projects which are mainly intended to
impress their shareholders and go into their glossy annual reports to satisfy their
public image. Rarely do the projects develop the lives of the communities as they are
determined by the corporate world and not by the communities.
(Source: Rustenburg Community Monitors, 2012)
The design of CSR programmes:
Clearly any mining operation operating in a particular geographic space would
design its CSR programme around the following:
Mitigating its own impact on its immediate operational boundary as well as
its wider social, economic and environmental footprint; and, where such
impact is unavoidable allowing the surrounding population to meaningfully
participate in committees created to mitigate such impact, including disaster
management committees, health and safety committees, environmental
management committees, mine closure committees and recruitment
Not externalising any social, environmental or economic costs of its
operations to the surrounding population or structures of governance and
Contributing meaningfully to the development of social, economic and
environmental development and sustainability of the region, district or local
geographical area, including the development of infrastructure, health and
education facilities accessible to all.
Seek prior and informed consent for developments at every stage of the life
of mine and accepting the right of communities to refuse.
Meaningfully compensate communities and individuals for any damage or
loss they may suffer as a result of the mining activity.
Accept responsibility and liability for any unintended consequences of mine
development or corporate policies.
These recommendations are based on our study undertaken in the Bojanala District,
and are made with the sincere belief that the basic human rights failings and
violations identified will be addressed as a matter of urgency. The recommendations
are directed at the South African Parliament, the Government and other state bodies,
as well as to the corporations studied in this research. We will commence with
general recommendations and end with specific recommendations.
The South African Parliament
Should resolve on a national development strategy that would lay out the
sustainability, and which does not have mining at its centre. This should be
seen in light of COP17, and the environmental degradation and negative
impacts on local communities resulting from mining. Another strategy is to
resolve on a cost accounting approach that internalises negative mining
impacts on to company balance sheets, and where mines are obliged to
address such impacts in a way that involves communities in clean-up
projects and local job creation.
Should amend the various laws pertaining to the different aspects of mining,
such as health and safety, environmental impacts including water and air
quality etc. to invert the onus of providing evidence onto the mining
companies themselves, to prove that they are conforming to the relevant
laws. This would save local communities resources and time, and it would
mean that the offender should provide evidence of being law-abiding,
instead of those affected by the company´s offences having to prove the
company's transgressions.
Should amend the MPRDA to:
Include the universally agreed upon principle of Free, Prior and
Informed Consent (FPIC) as a key principle guiding the work of those
seeking to mine in South Africa. Given the lifespan of a mining
operation we would want to add continuous free, prior and informed
consent at all stages of the operation from green fields through to
closure and completion.
Move the responsibility for EIA‟s from the Department of Mineral
Resources to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Include the option for revenue sharing for mining communities. This is
to address the deepening poverty and marginalisation of many local
communities, despite mining taking place in their areas. In this context
we also reiterate our call to the South African government and National
Treasury to urgently discuss ways of distributing equitably, on an
agreed upon formula / percentage, the taxation revenues/royalties
collected from mining companies to meet the needs of affected mining
communities. These funds must meet the short, medium and long-term
needs and aspirations of mining communities. It is widely agreed, and
confirmed in this study, that mining communities have not benefited
from mining, but rather have been adversely affected, which must be
urgently redressed. Further, our concern is that equitable funds are put
aside to ensure continuance of community life when mining ends.
Should ensure that the current review of the Minerals and Petroleum
Resources Development Amendment Bill, the draft Mineral and Petroleum
Resources Royalty Bill and the Mining Charter is inclusive, and take
submissions from civil society groups, including affected communities.
Should introduce tighter conflict of interest legislation, which will bar senior
politicians and civil servants and/or their family members from serving on the
boards of mining companies (or as BEE partners and shareholders).
Heed the call from communities for mining employers, government and
unions to include the representation of mining communities in the Social and
Labour Plans, in collaboration with the Department of Labour. The „social
license to mine‟ means that the DMR must value the opinion of the local
communities to a greater extent, and not allow mining interests to prevail to
the detriment of local communities.
Investigate the negative impacts of employing large numbers of subcontracted labour, in particular by Implats in its South African operations.
Close down mines with persistent high death rates among workers.
The South African Government
Must ensure that local mining communities are included and given representation in
all decision-making processes that affect their lives. Furthermore, to get mining
corporations to not only consult with interest groups that usually receive some kind of
benefit, but also to engage with various impacted groups and genuine representative
community organisations.
Deploy the Green Scorpions where there is intensive mining to:
Investigate emissions per operations to see if they are in compliance
with the law. If they are not, remedial action must be taken;
Penalise mining operations that do not comply with legislation,
regulations or waste management standards, and make such reports
public; and
Increase the level of fines to make their use more effective and
Pursue corporations not adhering to legislation and regulations and
prosecute them (The Department of Environmental Affairs, Department
of Water Affairs, Department of Mineral Resources, NPA and SAPS).
This report has shown a number of incidences where corporations knowingly
and with impunity exceed CO2 and SO2 emissions levels, and damage the
air and water quality for the surrounding communities. We have also found
that the degradation of the environment impacts negatively on subsistence
and commercial farmers.
Living conditions and housing
Urgently investigate the appalling conditions under which communities near
mining operations live, in particular in the informal communities that spring
up around mines. This should be seen in light of the Millennium
Development Goals‟ target 7, that includes reducing the number of slum
areas (Target 7.D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in
the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers).
Compel quality enforcement by building inspectors on the poor quality of
housing in many of mining communities studied (cracked houses in the
Bojanala District), and ensuring that those responsible be brought to book
(The Department of Human Settlement, SAHRC and other relevant
Departments and organisations).
Health and safety
The Department of Labour should inspect the health and safety situation
for workers with immediate effect, in particular for occupational related
Undertake an investigation into the extent of platinosis amongst the
population of Bojanala District in general, and those working in mines and
processing plants or living in close proximity to mines and processing plants
in particular.
Appoint a special medical rapporteur to investigate occupational diseases
and their impacts on the surrounding communities, as well as the shifting
burden that is being placed upon the public sector (The Department of
Health, SAHRC and other relevant departments and organisations).
Women in mining
Investigate the facilities available for women in the mining workplace, the conditions
under which they work, and the relations between male and female workers in the
mining workplace, i.e. ensure that female workers are properly deployed and not
placed in compromising situations (The Department of Women, Children and
People with Disabilities and the Department of Labour).
The South African Human Rights Commission
Must investigate the violations of the right to land in the Rustenburg area,
and look at whether mining rights for corporations have „trumped‟ the land
rights of the communities.
Should look into the role of traditional leaders in negotiating the
commencement and operations of mining, and the pressure exerted on them
by mining companies, and make recommendations to ensure that impacted
communities are engaged with, especially those that are most impacted
upon, for example women.
Investigate the impacts of mining on the right to clean water for communities
located around the mines, and through such an investigation, demonstrate
clearly that clean and safe drinking water is a human rights issue.
Likewise investigate the impacts of mining on air quality and demonstrate
clearly that clean air is a human rights issue.
Boost its ROLL Back Xenophobia campaign in mining communities, and
work with local communities to deal effectively with xenophobia, especially in
the Rustenburg area.
Investigate allegations that workers at Xstrata were discriminated against
because they are HIV positive. In addition, we call on the SAHRC to
investigate the impact of the living-out allowance on HIV/AIDS.
Investigate the effect of unsafe rail crossings for local communities, and
especially for school children, reporting the findings to the affected
communities, the corporations operating in the district, and organised
Civil society organisations
We call on civil society organisations and donor partners to ensure that a Strategic
Fund be set up, which will support the organisational, legal and political work of poor
communities adversely affected by mining. This should be an independent fund
contributed to by all mining corporations on a proportional basis, depending on their
size, number of operations and should be run by an independent agreed third party
to assist communities in expertise, and that capacitates communities to engage over
EIA‟s, SLP‟s and community development.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Social relations, communities and CSR
A persistent problem throughout our Policy Gap series has been the glaring neglect
of fair, transparent and honest engagement by companies with communities over
their needs and aspirations. The report has pointed out the asymmetries of power
between the corporation and mining communities, as well as weak or incompetent
Accordingly, the Bench Marks Foundation strongly recommends that:
Corporations convene a meeting in public to present their annual
sustainability / community report, where their license to operate will be
deliberated upon by those that are affected by the operations of the
Corporations initiate a structured forum to meet with representative
community organisations (if they desire it) that should include civil society
organisations, NGO‟s, women groups, faith based groups, and other
impacted and interest groups. A clear hierarchy of stakeholders identifying
impacted communities and impacted interest groups, along with trade unions
should be established in developed into company policy.
Corporations fully compensate losses incurred by communities, for
environmental, and other economic losses, as early as possible.
Corporations employ the principle of obtaining the Free, Prior and Informed
Consent (FPIC) from communities affected by their operations.
Failed CSR programmes
The failure to base CSR programmes and concrete investments on what
communities themselves state that they need, has led to numerous failed
investments. Furthermore, there are clear gaps, such as promoting educational
programmes, while at the same time not making the small investments of securing
unsafe rail crossings that the children have to pass through to get to school. Since
these trains are used by mining companies to transport platinum and other materials
for production, it should fall under the mining company´s CSR programme to secure
these crossings for the local population. The Lonmin hydroponics project is another
example of a CSR project where large investments were made, but where the
project eventually failed. The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
All mining companies carefully develop their CSR programmes in dialogue
with local communities to make sure that they are directly tailored to their
actual needs.
The Chamber of Mines undertake a comprehensive evaluation of their own
CSR programmes in relation to the needs of the communities surrounding
the mines, and in relation to the overall needs of the country.
Recommendations for all companies surveyed in this study
First and foremost, all mining corporations should localise their sustainability reports
to society and report per operation, and in local languages. Companies should also
get their reports across using the media, such as radio and community newspapers.
Mining corporations like Xstrata for example, give a worldwide report and such
reports become meaningless as it is difficult to address their impacts and
development at a local level.
Economic issues: local employment and sub-contracting
Noting the high levels of unemployment in general and youth unemployment in
particular, mining companies operating in the Bojanala District must give preference
to the training and employment of people from local communities. The Bench Marks
Foundation recommends that mining companies in the district pool resources and
establish a training centre / mining college in the Bojanala District.
All companies must employ mine workers permanently and end their use of subcontractors and labour brokers. The Bench Marks Foundation supports COSATU‟s
call to ban labour brokering and sub-contracting, and call on all companies to give
serious attention to this issue.
Employee Health and Safety
The Bench Marks Foundation calls for all mining companies to:
Eliminate completely or reduce their reliance on contract workers
Investigate and resolve the contradiction between safety bonuses and
productivity bonuses. The strong push to increase production outputs
compromises health and safety and increases fatalities during operations.
Improve literacy training through on-going regular ABET. Time should be
allocated for these activities during working hours. Improved literacy can
increase worker safety, by improving workers' ability to read safety signs.
Their stated commitment to literacy training is defeated by the over-reliance
on sub-contracted labour which allows them to cut training costs.
Mining companies must recognise platinosis as a verifiable disease, and
take the responsibility for the health effects of platinosis, both on workers
and surrounding communities. This includes covering the health expenses of
workers. The mining companies must develop a policy on health problems
caused by mining, and such a policy must be worked out in collaboration
with the trade unions and community representatives.
Mining companies must employ more women workers at all levels of the
companies, guided by the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. In
addition, the companies must make workplaces safe for the women workers.
This includes separate change room facilities, separate toilet facilities, and
careful thought to the balance of the number of women and men in each
work team. Annual medical examinations must afford more privacy to the
employees being examined; therefore the collective examinations of
mineworkers must come to an end. Furthermore, the companies must
educate male workers, and institute sanctions against men who abuse
women in the working operations.
Social issues
Provide proper housing and accommodation for all their employees. The
mining companies must assume responsibility for the impacts that the livingout allowance has on informal dwellings, and the resultant health and safety
problems, as well as the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Terminate the living-out allowance system. This should be done by entering
into discussions with NUM, aiming to arrive at a mine sponsored housing
system where family accommodation will be provided.
Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin/Lonplats must show concern
for the safety of communities living in proximity to their mines, and put
bridges and booms at all railway crossings.
The Bench Marks Foundation notes the widespread phenomenon of cracked
houses in the Bojanala District, particularly in proximity to mining operations.
We are disturbed that the situation has not improved since Policy Gap 1, and
that mining companies still blame house owners and occupants for the
cracks in their houses. We call on the companies to take responsibility for
the cracked houses caused by their mining operations.
Environmental issues
Most of the companies reviewed here state in their own reports that they
have exceeded emission limits for CO2 and SO2. The Bench Marks
Foundation calls on all mining companies to take immediate measures to
comply with set emission limits, and to improve their water and pollution
management. Within 6 months, concrete plans of action must be reported on
to the Bench Marks Foundation who can at least play a monitoring role, and
other relevant authorities, communities and workers. These plans must take
the voices of communities into consideration, and further demonstrate how
they will measure CO2 and SO2 emissions per operation.
Given the cumulative impacts of emissions and the need for collective action
by the mining companies to deal with this problem, the Bench Marks
Foundation calls for all the mining houses in the Bojanala District to meet
and agree on a collective plan of action. This plan must have set timelines
and must aim at drastically lowering emissions. Furthermore, it must cover
how to deal with the impacts of the emissions on air and water quality, land
and biodiversity, and the health impacts for people in the local community in
addition to how these impacts affect community livelihoods, subsistence
farmers, and larger agricultural farmers.
Specific company recommendations
Anglo Platinum
The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
Anglo Platinum sets clear targets for employment of locals and that these
targets must be negotiated with local communities. The company must
submit regular progress reports (on the numbers employed, and quality of
the employment, etc.) to the communities.
Anglo Platinum employs more women workers at all levels of the company
guided by the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. In addition, the
company must make workplaces safe for the women workers. This includes
separate change room facilities, separate toilet facilities, and careful thought
to the balance of the number of women and men in each work team. Annual
medical examinations must afford more privacy to the employees being
examined; therefore the collective examinations of mineworkers must come
to an end. Furthermore, Anglo Platinum needs to educate male workers, and
institute sanctions against men who abuse women in the operations. The
Bench Marks Foundation further calls on Anglo Platinum not to use local
chiefs or councilors as recruitment officers, as some of these individuals
exploit their positions of relative power, to demand sex or money in return for
Anglo Platinum immediately reduces its emissions of CO2 and SO2 to come
within the required limits, as it is completely unacceptable that the company
continues to exceed the emission limits. Anglo admits to elevated levels of
nitrates in water sources in proximity to its operations because the fact that
platinum mining causes elevated levels of nitrates in water sources is welldocumented in the literature. The Bench Marks Foundation calls on Anglo
Platinum not to shift blame to informal settlements and local communities by
blaming the sewage system or pit latrines for the problem, because indirectly
the living-out allowance policy contributes to increased pressure on the
sewage system and to increased pit latrines. We recommend that Anglo
Platinum assumes responsibility for both the direct and indirect effects of its
operations causing inflow of nitrates into the water sources in the area.
Anglo Platinum must take action both to end the inflow of nitrates into the
water directly from its operations, and to include improvement of the local
sewage system in their CSR programme. Anglo Platinum must also put an
end to the use of the living-out allowance that exacerbates this problem and
enter into negotiations with the National Union of Mineworkers to address
the living conditions of mine workers with a view to internalising the cost, and
developing proper family and subsidised accommodation.
The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
Impala Platinum sets clear targets for employment of locals and that these
targets must be negotiated with local communities (this applies to all mining
companies operating in the Bojanala District). The company must submit
regular progress reports (on the numbers employed and quality of the
employment, etc.) to the communities. Impala Platinum has a heavy reliance
on sub-contracted labour, and we suggest that the high levels of fatalities at
its Rustenburg operations are related to its dependence on sub-contracted
labour. The Bench Marks Foundation therefore supports COSATU‟s call to
ban labour brokering and subcontracting, and call on Impala to give serious
attention to these issues. Furthermore, despite efforts to improve literacy
levels, these have not improved at the Impala operations in South Africa
since Policy Gap 1 was published. We also find it disturbing that Impala
informs local communities that they cannot be employed on its mining
operations because they lack mining experience, or because local
matriculants do not have maths and science, while the company has a 40%
level of illiteracy among its employees. We suspect that Impala prefers subcontracted and migrant labour, because it does not need to train these
employees (with previous experience), and matriculants might demand
higher wages than illiterate workers. Impala must increase the number of
workers employed locally.
Impala place greater emphasis on safety bonuses and significantly scale
down productivity bonuses, as sub-contracting and the use of productivity
bonuses further compromise workplace safety at Impala's Rustenburg
Impala immediately set up proper booms and bridges at rail crossings (this
applies to all mining companies operational in the area). The Bench Marks
Foundation notes with concern the number of unguarded rail crossings in
and around the Impala operations, particularly in the proximity of Luka and
Chaneng, and finds it disturbing that Impala has been operational in the area
for many decades, and have not seen it fit to put up bridges or proper booms
at these crossings. We find it completely cynical that big billboards depicting
a taxi being hit by a train has been placed at these crossings, instead of
booms or bridges. The Bench Marks Foundation calls on Impala to
immediately rectify this.
Impala bring the shafts in the Bafokeng area, that are on the verge of
depletion, to proper closure and completion. The Bench Marks Foundation
will carefully monitor whether Impala intends to sell these shafts to less able
operators before mine closure.
The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
Aquarius should set clear targets for employment of locals and that these
targets must be negotiated with local communities. The company must
submit regular progress reports (on the numbers employed, and quality of
the employment, etc.) to the communities. The Bench Marks Foundation
finds it disturbing that this company sets its reliance on sub-contractors as a
production aim. The Bench Marks Foundation‟s report shows that 90% of the
Aquarius labour force is composed of sub-contractors. Sub-contracted
workers are excluded from the same benefits as permanent employees, and
while this represents an improvement in cost efficiencies for the corporation,
it externalises costs to the society of health, pensions and housing.
Aquarius employ mine workers permanently and end their use of subcontractors and labour brokers. The Bench Marks Foundation supports
COSATU‟s call to ban labour brokering and sub-contracting, and call on
Aquarius to give serious attention to this issue.
Aquarius‟ shareholders should consider changing their board. The Bench
Marks Foundation notes with dismay the politically loaded board composition
of Aquarius. The presence of senior political figures or their close relatives
on the boards of mining operations undermines democracy in South Africa,
given the serious conflict of interest, calling into question the impartiality of
the state.
Furthermore, Aquarius should adhere to standards as they relate to
Australian mining operational standards with regard to air, water, land and
The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
Xstrata set clear targets for local employment. These targets must be
negotiated with local communities, and the progress on local employment
must be open to community verification on a monthly basis.
Xstrata employ mine workers permanently and end their use of subcontractors and labour brokers. The Bench Marks Foundation supports
COSATU‟s call to ban labour brokering and subcontracting, and call on
Xstrata to give serious attention to this issue.
Xstrata rectifies the impression among mine workers that it discriminates
against employees with HIV/AIDS, and works towards re-establishing trust in
its own health facilities. At the moment, mine workers from Xstrata are using
government clinics, so as to avoid the mine's clinics. This is causing tension
between mine workers and local communities.
Xstrata should issue local sustainability reports per operation and locality.
The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
Lonmin significantly contributes through their CSR programme to fix the
sewage system around Marikana, clean up the bilharzia infected water
sources in the area, and revive commercial agriculture in the area.
Lonmin ends the use of local chiefs or councilors as recruitment officers, as
some of these individuals exploit their positions of relative power, to demand
sex or money in return for employment.
Royal Bafokeng Mining
The Bench Marks Foundation recommends that:
The Royal Bafokeng Authority must not delay the judicial process with
technicalities. We further recommend that the judiciary speed up the case
dealing with the land dispute between the Royal Bafokeng Authority and the
Land Owners Association, as the dragging out of this case is elevating local
tensions and could lead to conflict.
The Royal Bafokeng Authority to be more transparent in the dispersement of
revenues derived from mining to villages currently under its authority. The
Bench Marks Foundation suggests the creation of village development
committees, whose responsibility it will be to draw up development plans for
submission to the Royal Bafokeng Authority, and a more inclusive budget
Royal Bafokeng Mining employ mine workers permanently and to end their
use of sub-contractors and labour brokers. The Bench Marks Foundation
supports COSATU‟s call to ban labour brokering and sub-contracting.
Royal Bafokeng Mining set clear targets for employment of locals and that
these targets must be negotiated with local communities. The company must
submit regular progress reports (on the numbers employed, and quality of
the employment, etc.) to the communities.
The Royal Bafokeng Mining take due care not to damage cultural and
heritage sites belonging to communities in proximity to its mining operations.
The Bench Marks Foundation and the South African Council of Churches are
imminently disturbed by the disrespect shown for community graves by
prospectors employed by the Royal Bafokeng Mining around the Styldrift
mine. One would have expected that a company that is presumably owned
by the tribe would show more respect for the heritage sites of the tribe.
Annexure 1: Comparison of findings from Policy Gap 1 and Policy Gap 6
Employee Health
Silicosis: In Policy Gap 1 we
Platinosis: Anglo Platinum
made reference to silicosis.
reports to society did contain
Anglo Platinum contested this, reference to platinosis. Other
claiming that silicosis does not mining companies reviewed
occur in the platinum mines
could do more to report on
due to the particular geology
platinosis. Researchers
of the area. Taking this
encountered boarded
clarification into consideration employees in Ikemeleng, Luka
we reviewed the literature and and Chaneng who claimed to
engaged with our communities have worked in processing
to find that platinosis is a
plants and to have been
matter of concern.
boarded on grounds of
inadequate lung function.
HIV/AIDS: We found reporting
on HIV/AIDS to be
problematic. We also found
that although all companies
did report on extensive HIV
treatment programmes for
their employees and spouses,
and some CSR involvement in
programmes, that certain
labour/housing policies such
as the living-out allowance,
pursued by mining companies
aggravated the situation with
regard to HIV/AIDS.
Disability reporting: We
found that mining companies
reported on lost time due to
injuries and fatalities, but that
while accurate information on
the number of fatalities were
contained in reports, nothing
was said about the number
and nature of injuries. No one
HIV/AIDS: We found that the
same concerns we raised in
Policy Gap 1 persist. The
impact of the living-out
allowance on informal
settlement growth, backyard
dwellings, sex work and
substance abuse, all
complicate effective
interventions to prevent the
spread of HIV/AIDS. We are
particularly concerned about
the impact of media reports
that Xstrata Coal in
Mpumalanga allegedly
dismissed workers because of
their HIV status, causing
workers in their platinum
operations to avoid mine
clinics and flood community
Disability reporting: Anglo
Platinum now reports
extensively on the
redeployment of people who
became physically challenged
as a result of workplace
accidents. The other
corporations under review
should be encouraged to do
Department of Health to do an
investigation into the extent of
platinosis amongst the
population of Bojanala District
in general, and those working
in mines and processing
plants or living in close
proximity to mines and
processing plants in particular.
The Department of Labour to
check health and safety
measures to protect workers
from platinosis at all mines
and processing plants in
Bojanala District.
Xstrata to reassure its mine
employees that they will not
be victimised or retrenched for
being HIV positive, and rebuild
employee trust in its mine
health facilities.
Mining houses should
research how their housing
and labour living-out policies
contribute to HIV/AIDS and
take remedial action.
All mining corporations must
demonstrate their commitment
to the redeployment of
workers injured and made
disabled at work. Mines
contribute hugely to hearing
loss. Not only must all mines
reduce noise levels in the
work place and ensure that
reported on how injured
workers were redeployed in
operations. No one reported
on CSR spent on institutions,
and catering for physically
challenged people. We found
this to be an anomaly given
that mining was one of the
biggest contributors to loss of
hearing in the South African
the same. All corporations
should contribute to
institutions catering for the
physically challenged and
impaired, given their
contribution to the numbers of
people suffering such
challenges as a result of mine
accidents and working
Employee Safety: Policy Gap
1 found that there was a
correlation between mine
fatalities and:
 Productivity bonuses;
 A high platinum price;
 High levels of illiteracy in the
labour force;
 Poor living conditions in
informal settlements;
 The use of sub-contractors;
 Seismic events. The Bench
Marks Foundation predicted
that as shaft mining goes
deeper in the Bojanala
District, there would be
increased seismic activity
and falls of rock incidents.
Employee Safety
Employee Safety: The
Review found that many of the
same conditions giving rise to
unsafe working conditions
persisted on the mines in
Bojanala District. We note a
sharp decline in fatalities in
2009-10 which coincided with
the global financial crisis,
retrenchments and
productivity cutbacks. We see
a steady rise in mine
accidents as the platinum
price is gradually climbing
back to US$ 2000 an ounce
We are especially concerned
by the high fatalities reported
by Implats at its Impala
Rustenburg Shafts. We
suspect a strong correlation
between the extensive use of
sub-contractors and high
fatality levels here. We note
that Implats operates Ngezi
Mine and, together with
Aquarius, Mimosa Mine in
Zimbabwe, both mines with
first world health and safety
records. We are convinced
that these Zimbabwe mines
have the excellent records
that they do have, because of
the high literacy levels on the
labour force at both mines
added to the fact that
employees are local, and are
properly housed in family
housing. There are no
informal settlements and no
workers have and use the
necessary means to protect
themselves against hearing
loss, but mines also need to
contribute more to institutions
of learning and training for
disabled/physically challenged
people in general, but also to
institutions for training and
educating the deaf in
All mining companies must:
 Eliminate completely or
reduce their reliance on
contract workers
 Provide proper housing and
accommodation for all their
 Terminate the living-out
allowance system;
 Investigate and resolve the
contradiction between
safety bonuses and
productivity bonuses;
 Increase literacy training
and ensure workers are
able to read safety notices;
 Emulate Ngezi and Mimosa
standards on workplace
living-out allowance at Ngezi
and Mimosa. We note
increased fatalities at the
shafts of Impala Rustenburg
due to falls of rock as
predicted in Policy Gap 1.
Women’s Health and Safety in the Workplace
Health and Safety: In Policy
Health and Safety: The
We call on the Department of
Gap 1 we noted the general
review found that the Mining
Women, Children and People
absence of women in mining
Charter has had unintended
with Disabilities and the
and their concentration in
consequences for women:
Department of Labour and the
secretarial and cleaning jobs.  It puts women in danger,
Human Rights Commission to
The Mining Charter was in its
because 9% target for
investigate the conditions
infancy at that stage. However
women in mining
under which women are
we noted that the work
employment means
working in the mines, with
environment had to change to
effectively that 9 out of
special attention to:
accommodate women working
every 100 employees are
 Toilet and change room
in mines including the need
women, which means that
facilities for women;
they are totally
 How to prevent groping and
 Separate ablution blocks
outnumbered when going
abuse of women in the
and change rooms;
cages (lifts) that take
 Separate medical check-up  Not much thought has been
workers into and out of
facilities; and
given to the suitable
mine shafts;
 A change in the machodeployment of female
 Transactional sex where
culture of mineworkers.
employees in jobs that
human resource officers
would suite both their
demand money or sex in
biological/physical and
return for work;
mental makeup;
 Transactional sex where
 Men and women are still
women supplement their
sharing ablution blocks and
income towards month end
change rooms;
by selling sex underground
 Men and women do
to male employees;
medical checkups together;  Abuse and groping of
women during first aid
 Women are generally
recruited from local
 Lack of privacy for women
communities, while many
during annual health
men are migrants; this has
inspections; and
a negative impact on
 To end the use of Local
gender relations in the
Government councillors
and chiefs as recruiting
 Women applicants for jobs
agents which allows them
on the mines in Bojanala
to trade their power to offer
District have reported that
jobs in return for money or
male HR officers demand
either sex or bribes in
All mining corporations must
return for jobs.
create conducive conditions
that will allow women to work
without suffering sexual
The DMR must review the
Mining Charter targets for the
Community Health and Safety
Air/Dust: We found high
levels of dust particularly
around August/September in
communities living in close
proximity to tailings dams and
dust roads used by mine
vehicles. Elevated levels of
dust contribute to ear, nose
and throat complaints within
communities. We note studies
in Britain and in the USA
raising concerns about
Platinosis in the workplace for
employees working with
platinum. We note one study
referring to platinum dust
levels on London roads due to
catalytic converters on
vehicles. The dust levels even
on paved and bitumen
covered roads in Rustenburg
are visibly considerably higher
due to the trucks carrying ore
from mines to processing
plants, and also due to the
composition of the roads.
Detailed medical studies are
required to deal with this.
Air Pollution
Air/Carbon Dioxide and
Air/Carbon Dioxide and
Sulphur Dioxide Emissions: Sulphur Dioxide Emissions:
Policy Gap 1 noted that
The Review found that most
although most individual
corporate reports to society for
mines complied with ISO
the companies operating in
standards, the cumulative
Bojanala District exceeded
impact of having so many
emission limits and were
operations in such a small
honest enough to report this.
area needs to be considered.
However, the Bench Marks
It was indeed found that even Foundation is curious to know
as far away as Bergsig High
how relevant monitoring
School emission levels were
government agencies will
unacceptably high.
respond to such admissions.
Air/Dust: We found high
levels of dust, particularly
around August/September in
communities living in close
proximity to tailings dams and
dust roads used by mine
vehicles. Elevated levels of
dust contribute to ear, nose
and throat complaints within
Water: Policy Gap 1 noted a
variety of impacts of mining on
Water: The Review found that
the negative impacts
employment of women in
mines to create a healthier
demographic balance as a
counter to the sexual abuse of
women in the workplace.
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on all mines in the
Bojanala District to improve
their waste and dust
management practices.
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on the Department of
Environmental Affairs to
effectively deploy the Green
scorpions in areas where
there is intensive mining and
to penalise mining operations
that do not comply with
legislation, regulations or
waste management
The Bench Marks Foundation
notes with dismay that mining
companies do not mind paying
insignificant fines and
continue with bad
environmental practices. The
Bench Marks Foundation
therefore calls on the
Government to change
legislation and regulations to
make fines significant and
therefore effective.
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on the Departments of
Environmental Affairs and
Water Affairs to pursue
corporations not adhering to
legislation and regulations and
prosecute them. It is
problematic that a mining
corporation such as Anglo
Platinum could report
exceedances and the two
government departments and
agencies such as the Green
Scorpions do not take notice.
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on the Departments of
water in the Bojanala District
 Excessive consumption;
 Dropping of the
groundwater table where
open cast mining occurs;
 Elevated levels of sulphides
and nitrates in the water;
 Location of tailings dams
and rock waste facilities too
close to water sources.
Rail Crossings: Policy Gap 1
did not look at rail crossings at
persisted, and that new
impacts emerged in the
Bojanala District including:
 Excessive consumption;
 Dropping of the
groundwater table where
open cast mining occurs;
 Elevated levels of sulphides
and nitrates in the water;
 Location of tailings dams
and rock waste facilities too
close to water sources; and
 Backyard dwellings and
informal shacks housing
workers on the living-out
allowance particularly in
Marikana‟s RDP village
next to Lonmin‟s Karee
mine, have caused
unsustainable pressure on
the sewage system with
sewage points bursting and
pouring into the river which
is now contaminated with
Bilarzia as a result.
Rail Crossings
Rail Crossings: Communities
pointed out the discrepancy in
Policy Gap 1 and insisted on
the matter of rail crossings be
included in the review. There
are numerous
unguarded/unbridged rail
crossings in Bojanala District,
all serving platinum mines and
running mine locomotives and
rolling stock. None of the
crossings are guarded, none
have booms and none have
bridges that would prevent
accidents with motor vehicles
and trucks.
Environmental Affairs and
Water Affairs to pursue
corporations not adhering to
legislation and regulations and
prosecute them. As already
indicated, it is difficult to
explain that a mining
corporation such as Anglo
could report exceedances and
the two government
departments and agencies
such as the Green Scorpions
not take notice.
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on the Departments of
Environmental Affairs, Water
Affairs and Human
Settlements to act on the
environmental and water
matters raised here. The
Bench Marks Foundation
further calls on the
Department of Human
Settlements to visit and
appraise itself of the appalling
conditions under which
communities are living in the
shadow of some of the richest
mines on the planet, and deal
with the concerns of
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on Anglo Platinum,
Impala Platinum and
Lonmin/Lonplats to show
concern for the safety of
communities living in proximity
to their mines to put bridges
and booms at all railway
crossings. The fancy warning
boards currently at crossings
are just so much advertising,
while bridges and booms will
solve the problem of
train/vehicle and pedestrian
collisions. Mining corporations
will argue that this is the task
of local, provincial or national
authorities, however the trains
are company owned and
operated, and making the
Cracked Housing
Cracked Housing: Policy
Cracked Housing: Nothing
Gap 1 pointed to this problem has changed in the interim
which is a major cause for
between Policy Gap 1 and the
dissatisfaction in all
Review with regard to cracked
communities studied except
housing. Even houses
constructed by mining
companies for example in
Chaneng are showing severe
cracks as a result of blasting.
Surely the mining company
involved will not admit to
inferior architecture and
construction which is the usual
excuse offered for cracked
Unguarded pits
Unguarded abandoned open Unguarded abandoned open
pits: This is also an issue that pits fill up with water and
Policy Gap 1 failed to detect.
become attractive swimming
places for children. There
have been drowning at one
such pit close to Luka and
HIV/AIDS and communities
HIV/AIDS: Policy Gap 1
HIV/AIDS: The Review found
established a direct link
that much of the conditions
giving rise to HIV/AIDS in
 HIV/AIDS and migrant
Bojanala District remain
unchanged from the time
 HIV/AIDS and informal
when Policy Gap 1 was
Settlements; and
published. There has not been
 HIV/AIDS and backyard
a significant change with
regard to informal settlements
and backyard dwellings. If
anything, these have
increased with the increase in
the number of mining
operations in Bojanala District.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of Interest: Policy
Conflicts of Interest:
Gap 1 found major conflicts of Unfortunately this trend
interests as mining companies continues and is undermining
scrambled to lure senior
democracy and the faith of
members of political parties
communities in elected
and civil servants onto their
institutions in the Bojanala
crossings secure is a small
cost measured against the
enormous profits realised by
these mining operations.
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on the Department of
Human Settlements to
intervene in the matter of
cracked housing as a result of
mining in the Bojanala District.
Some of the cracked housing
is low-cost housing
constructed with tax payer‟s
money and where the cracks
are caused by mining
operations; this represents an
externalisation of costs by the
mining companies.
All mining companies must
see to it that these open pits
are at least fenced in and
supervised by security guards.
While noting the interventions
by mining corporations such
as Anglo Platinum and Impala
Platinum with regards to
HIV/AIDS in the communities
of Bojanala District, it is the
opinion of the Bench Marks
Foundation that these
interventions are wholly
The Bench Marks Foundation
calls on Parliament to pass
the necessary laws and
regulations that will prevent
mining corporations from
harvesting members of
parliament, ministers and civil
servants to serve on their
Land Issues and Disputes:
Policy Gap 1 did not say much
about the land disputes in
Employment and
Unemployment: Policy Gap 1
pointed out that the reliance
on migrant labour and subcontractors was an issue
creating huge unhappiness
among local communities
suffering severe
Land Issues, Disputes
Land Issues and Disputes:
Bench Marks Foundation
found great unhappiness
about the land issue in
Chaneng and Luka. This is a
matter that needs to be
resolved urgently.
Employment and
Unemployment: In 2011,
violent protests broke out
which were led particularly by
the unemployed youth in
Marikana, Ikemeleng and
boards or in senior
management positions in
mining companies. We
support COSATU‟s recently
launched campaign in this
The Department of Rural
Development and Land
Reform as well as the Courts
should urgently deal with this
All mining corporations,
Department of Labour,
Department of Home Affairs,
(cooperative governance)
Local, District and Provincial
Government should address
this issue.
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