News / South Africa

Yadhana Jadoo
1 minute read
16 Aug 2017
5:25 am

Marikana families still waiting for compensation five years later

Yadhana Jadoo

Some activists want a day of remembrance as the mine lists improvements made.

FILE PIC: Striking mine workers in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP PHOTO / STRINGER.

Today marks five years since South Africans watched horrific live scenes from Marikana, North West, where miners striking for a R12 500 wage were gunned down by police.

According to activists, little compensation has been received by the families of the 34 people lost on August 16, 2012, and 10 others killed during the Lonmin Platinum strike leading up to that day.

It is the widows and children of the slain miners who, years later, still bear the brunt of having no breadwinner, according to the Marikana Support Campaign.

Trevor Ngwane of the campaign said August 16 should be made a public holiday so South Africans can commemorate the worst post-democracy massacre – as they do with the Sharpeville Massacre on Freedom Day.

“And the slogan for the day should be ‘Never again’.”

Ngwane said government should erect a monument at the koppie were the striking miners had gathered daily. And the Marikana massacre should also form part of history in school curriculums.

“This was terrible for a new South Africa and must be seen as a relapse – but we must go forward.”

People in the area were still as “poor as ever”, living in an informal settlement, and any steps Lonmin said it had taken to remedy this situation must be seen as antagonistic, he said.

“There is no hard cash on the table to improve their lives.”

His comment came as Lonmin claimed yesterday to have “managed to drive home some key deliverables over the last five years”, including wage hikes and housing.

It established the 1608 Memorial Education Trust to provide financial support for the education of children who had lost their fathers, Lonmin said.

Andries Nkomo, who represents 330 miners who were arrested and injured during operations, said little progress had been made with the state regarding their settlement claims. –