Pretoria: The incident at Marikana was not a reflection of the business environment in South Africa, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) established to deal with tragedy said on Monday.
“We would like to reassure all stakeholders and the international community that mining operations continue unhindered in other parts of the North West province and throughout the country,” the committee said in a statement. Government remained in control of the situation and law and order continued to prevail, it said.
Since the incident, more than 50 social workers provided psychological support to the 44 bereaved families and those hospitalised. About 38 people have been laid to rest, with the remaining six expected to be buried next weekend.
The IMC said the events at Marikana should not paint South Africa in a bad way or cast doubt on the country’s mining industry. “The country continues to fully support direct investment and appropriate incentives and the legislative framework is in place to give confidence and predictability to investment decisions and security of tenure.”
The IMC said the Marikana tragedy has not impacted negatively on the country’s ability to attract investors. According to the IMC, no concerns were raised by foreign investors through foreign offices abroad about the damage done to investor sentiments.”As government, we are doing all in our power to make sure what happened does not happen again.
“We would like to emphasise the inextricability of stability of investment and the seamless implementation of the Mining Charter with particular regard to social and labour programmes,” said the IMC. It said more work still needed to be done in the area of social investment in mining communities and in the improvement of living conditions of mineworkers to mitigate the unfavourable material conditions that give rise to tragedies such as Marikana.
On 16 August, 34 people were killed and 78 others sustained injuries in clashes with police at Marikana. Prior to this, 10 other people, including two police officers, were killed. Earlier today, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said the root causes of the Marikana tragedy must be urgently addressed to prevent the recurrence of such an incident.
“The unfortunate occurrence of the Marikana tragedy some two weeks ago has added to the many historic ‘black spots’ in our country, especially in the mining industry,” she said. Following the Marikana tragedy, President Jacob Zuma immediately instituted the IMC and Commission of Inquiry to look into the matter. The Commission has been given four months to complete its work.
Most of the deceased have been laid to rest, while the remaining ones are expected to be laid to rest this weekend. Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has been tasked to deal with the Marikana labour dispute. To date, the minister has met with the different labour unions active at the mine.She has also met with platinum and gold producers, the National Union of Mine Workers and the Chamber of Mines in an effort to find solutions to the instability.