ANC warns against use of Marikana massacre for political point-scoring

Party lists several government interventions to safeguard mining community

16 August 2023 - 10:42
By Zimasa Matiwane
The ANC is marking the Marikana tragedy with a warning against political point-scoring. File photo.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba The ANC is marking the Marikana tragedy with a warning against political point-scoring. File photo.

The ANC has warned against using the 2012 Marikana massacre as a “political tool” as South Africa commemorates 11 years since the tragedy.

The events that led to what is now known as the Marikana massacre began as a wildcat mining strike in which 38 mineworkers, two police officers and two security officers died, while 78 miners were wounded.

“The ANC condemns the use of the Marikana tragedy as a political tool. Insensitive and opportunistic populism and deliberate peddling of misinformation about the tragedy and its aftermath is regrettable,” spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said.

“It is done at the expense of healing and national unity in a desperate attempt to gain political mileage.”

She said the ANC joins millions of South Africans in remembrance of the events of August 12 to 16 2012.

The “regrettable outcomes” during the Marikana tragedy should never be allowed to find root now.

South Africa is a constitutional democracy founded on dialogue and negotiations and resolution of deadlock through compromise offering a win-win to all parties.

While cautioning against scoring political points by using the tragedy, the ANC counted its victorious initiatives to change the mining industry and guarantee miners’ rights.

The ANC had introduced “progressive laws to regulate the mining industry” and other economic sectors.

These include the Labour Relations Act, Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect and regulate relations between employees and employers and set norms and standards for mining houses for compliance with safety and environmental issues, among other things.

In partnership with stakeholders, multidisciplinary interventions are being undertaken in Marikana to alleviate the plight of the community, including:

  • establishing an agricultural hub which created 500 jobs;
  • extending the living wage to include pension and retirement benefits in line with the labour dispensation;
  • construction of Marikana Combined and Secondary schools and installation of a computer laboratory;
  • building a clinic and community hall;
  • donation of land worth R80m by Stillwater to build houses;
  • payment of R170m in reparations to the widows and families of victims;
  • establishment of an education trust for children of the deceased; 
  • building houses and a joint memorandum of co-operation between the Housing Development Agency and Sibanye-Stillwater to address the needs of the community;
  • erecting a memorial site; 
  • conversion of single-sex living units into family units to the value of R382m; and
  • installation of a network tower to provide internet services to the community.