Johannesburg: the Marikana Massacre seems not to have any bearing lessons to the mining houses, this can be seen whereby all companies are only interested in maximizing profit over the lives of black workers.
The recent accident in Driefontein mine where death toll stands at seven has illustrated once again that black lives are cheaper and meaningless.
Let’s examine the history of mining South Africa and its various factors, the discovery of gold in 1886 in Johannesburg lead to migrant labour.
This meant that labour was sourced was rural homelands and usually men were chosen to go and dig up the mine or to do manual labour before the invention of the new technology.
These men from various homelands were crammed in single units housing that is called “hostels” and the living condition was worse.
Last week the South African Gold producers were ordered to pay around 4 billion rands to people who have contracted various diseases caused by mining activities.
The country’s mining sector remains the cornerstone of the economy, but yet to transform to benefit the poor and marginalised black people.
The recent study has indicated that most mining communities and workers are not developed and mining are not forced to comply with “Social Corporate Investment “ policies to ensure that they implement on that.
The government oversite can be questioned as they are conflicted, some members of the ruling party own mines or have interest in mining and it would not be easy to push the issue of compliance.
With this incident at Masakhane shaft in Driefontein mine, it clearly indicates that black lives are cheaper while mining houses continue to make money.
Some mining experts argue that South African miners earn less and the mining houses are getting away with it because of the protection they get from the government.
When is the government going to put the lives of black worker ahead as prescribed in “Batho pele” principles, after 24 years of freedom miners lives are still trodden like they were in 1886.
Most black families have broken because migrant labour and single men hostels and little is done to improve the lives of miners and their families.
The Marikana massacre where miners and police were killed should have served as a wakeup call for the government, to put necessary reforms in place.