Pretoria: The chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Marikana Tragedy, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, has called for calm, reconciliation and unity as the country marks the first anniversary of the Marikana tragedy, which took place on August 16, 2012.
Chabane has appealed to all stakeholders to ensure that the commemoration takes place in a climate of dignity in honour of all those who lost their lives in August last year.
About 44 people lost their lives in Marikana in strike related unrest.
“We recall with shock and regret this tragic event that resulted in death, injury and destruction of property. As the nation reflects on this national tragedy, it is incumbent upon all social partners to ensure that the anniversary is a time for reflection and recommitment to peace,” Chabane said.
“This is a time for pulling together as a nation and working collectively to ensure that, a year after the tragedy, the events of 2012 do not revisit the people of Marikana or South Africa as a whole in any shape or form.”
President Jacob Zuma has asked the country to treat the day as a time for prayer and reflection.
“I would like to call upon all South Africans to treat the 16th of August as a day of prayer and reflection. We must pray for the families of all who lost their lives in Marikana, before and after the 16th of August. We must all resolve to do everything possible to prevent a repeat of similar incidents,” Zuma said on Thursday before departing for the SADC summit in Malawi.
Government has also called for restraint and has condemned the continuing loss of life around Marikana.
The IMC reiterated Zuma’s commitment that government will ensure that law enforcement agencies act in a manner that is fair, impartial and objective.
“Government calls on all communities to support the programme of healing and peace led by church leaders in Marikana. This programme is meant to ensure peace and stability in Marikana.
“Government also supports the work led by the Deputy President working with social partners to stabilise the mining industry. Government further calls on social partners to secure the success of the Mine Crime Combating Forum, which was launched by Minister of Police on Wednesday, August 14, 2013,” said Chabane.
The forum will see mining companies, trade unions and mining communities working with the South African Police Service to maintain peace and stability in the mines and surrounding communities.
The launch of the forum is part of a broad range of interventions by social partners to restore peace and stability in the mining sector.
Chabane also expressed confidence in the Farlam Judicial Commission of Inquiry, appointed by President Zuma, to get to the bottom of what happened during the tragic events that took place in Marikana last year.
The IMC comprises the following members :
– Minister in The Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
– North West Premier
– The Minister of Mineral Resources
– The Minister of Police
– The Minister of Social Development
– The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
– The Minister of Labour
– The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
– The Minister of Health
– The Minister of State Security and
– The Minister of Home Affairs
Government, organised labour and organised business have committed to work together to restore peace and stability in the mines. The framework agreement, signed by the parties in July 2013, provides the basis for cooperation by all stakeholders to stabilise the mining sector and set it on a sustainable footing.
The framework is seen as an important step towards strengthening and stabilising the mining sector is ensuring that peace and stability prevail so as to create an environment conducive to development.