So. Africa: BASF must do more to improve living conditions in Marikana, says report; incl. company response

On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the massacre of South African miners engaged in strike action at Lomin's Marikana mine, Bread for the World, together with the South African organization Benchmarks Foundation, published a study on the current living and working conditions in Marikana. We invited BASF, Lomin's most important business partner, to comment on the report. The reponse is provided.

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Company response
22 September 2017

Response by BASF

Author: BASF

Thank you for the opportunity to share our perspective on the publication by “Brot für die Welt-Studie” about Marikana. First of all, please understand that we do not comment financial figures. From our point of view, this paper does not reflect adequately our commitment to help improve the living and working conditions, in and around Marikana.

BASF is involved on three levels to help improve the living and working conditions in and around Marikana: 


•           We are working intensively with Lonmin and, according to our capabilities, we are exerting our influence to ensure that the company complies with its legal obligations within the framework of social and work plans as well as our expectations regarding responsible business conduct of our suppliers...

•           [W]e initiated a sector initiative with other South African mining companies to help improve the situation in the platinum mining belt in South Africa.

•           We have also been intensively exchanging information on this topic with civil society and politicians in South Africa and Germany for years.

Please find more details on our activities and how we assume responsibility in our supply chain on our website: https://www.basf.com/en/company/about-us/suppliers-and-partners/sustainability-in-procurement.html#marikana

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Article
16 August 2017

So. Africa: BASF must do more to improve living conditions in Marikana, says report

Author: Bread for the World, Bench Marks Foundation

Marikana will be forever known for the massacre that took place on 16th August 2012: 34 miners were shot by the South African police, 78 injured and hundreds arrested. The platinum miners had been striking for higher wages and better living conditions. The platinum mine is operated by Lonmin Western Platinum Limited and Eastern Platinum Limited, both fully controlled subsidiaries of the British mining company Lonmin; the world’s third largest platinum producer. Main customer is the German chemistry company BASF. The massacre shocked the nation and completely changed the political landscape in South Africa. In Marikana itself, however, not much has changed since the Massacre... [S]o far BASFs handling of the situation in Marikana is not compliant with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: BASF has not adequately consulted workers, communities and civil society organi- sations to assess the human rights impact of Lonmins operations... BASF is not sufficiently using its leverage over Lonmin to ensure the mining company fulfills its legal obligations towards the South African government.

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