ANALYSIS: Disconnect between business & state contributed to Marikana massacre
A lesson from the 2012 massacre of mineworkers is the need for government to retain its role as primary governance agent, enforcing clear rules and ensuring the provision of public goods and services.
Even a Lonmin executive conceded this link in one of the commission’s hearings.
Having collected data on mining companies in this area since 2001, I suspected that additional, processual factors were at play. So I studied how interactions between business and government created the underlying conditions that gave rise to the Marikana massacre.
I studied these interactions at the national level, especially in the debates surrounding the charter, as well as at the local level in the platinum mining area around Marikana.
The government and the mining companies also emphasised flexibility in the implementation of these ambiguous rules. As the government negotiator highlighted “you don’t want to straitjacket anybody, so there is flexibility in the implementation of the framework”.
The Mining Charter, as well as a broader international debate about corporate responsibility, expected companies to contribute to public goods and services in areas near their mines. The companies accepted this. In fact, mining companies sought to outdo each other in acting, and being seen, as public development agents.
Together, the ambiguity of the negotiated rules and the absence of the local state provided an excuse for Lonmin to renege on its housing commitment.
Secondly, government can’t retreat. Companies should insist that their contributions to public goods and services do not displace, but are in support of, government and other state organs as the primary governance agents.Read more: Eyewitness News
Disconnect between business and state contributed to Marikana massacreI found that interactions between business and government progressively wore done the adopted and enacted social responsibilities of both parties
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