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So. Africa: Women of Marikana lodge complaint relating to World Bank's investment in Lonmin citing negative social, environmental impacts

Marikana women protestA group of women from Marikana, assisted by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, have lodged a complaint with the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman in relation to the social and environmental impacts of the operations of Lonmin's Marikana mine in North West Province, South Africa. Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Lonmin to respond to these concerns: items related to this issue, including a redacted version of the complaint and Lonmin's response, are provided below.   

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Company response
10 July 2015

So. Africa: Lonmin response regarding Marikana community complaint to the World Bank Ombudsman

Author: Lonmin

'Lonmin response to IFC complaint by affected community members in relation to social and environmental impacts of Lonmin’s operation in Marikana', 10 Jul 2015:…Lonmin is aware of its continued obligation to contribute to alleviating housing and accommodation issues, particularly around Marikana. The company is committed to working closely with…government to meet these challenges…We accept that our social performance in the past has not always been what was hoped, but, our shortfalls were not as a result of non-compliance…but rather a result of…over-ambitious plans…Lonmin does not see these as reasons to hold back on efforts to transform existing structures, provide affordable housing and plan for future housing requirements. The company has learnt from the tragic events of Marikana, recognises the structural changes in the mining industry and is committed to working with its stakeholders to bring about real change and transformation. 

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Article
25 June 2015

So. Africa: Women of Marikana lodge complaint against World Bank's investment in Lonmin

Author: Centre for Applied Legal Studies

'The Women of Marikana lodge complaint against World Bank's investment in Lonmin', 25 Jun 2015: On…15 June 2015, the Women of Marikana lodged a complaint with the Compliance Advisor / Ombudsman (CAO) in relation to the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) investment in Lonmin…[i]n 2007…earmarked…for…[a] Local Economic Development Programme…More than seven years [later]…living conditions for the communities around the Marikana mine are dire…[A]ir and groundwater are polluted by…[mine] activities…[T]here is no running water…housing…sanitation…roads. The complaint alleges that…Lonmin failed to meet…its domestic legal obligations…It promised to build 5000 houses, but built only 3.  It promised to spend R23m on water and sanitation projects, but spent just over half that...Under its own policies, the IFC ought to have…monitored…Lonmin’s…projects…and…challenged Lonmin on deteriorating community relations. But it appears to have done none of these things. The complaint, supported by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), asks the World Bank…to launch a compliance investigation…and…facilitate a dispute resolution process between community members, the IFC and Lonmin…to find a solution befitting the human dignity of Marikana community members…

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Report
15 June 2015

So. Africa: Complaint to the World Bank by affected community members regarding the social and environmental impacts of Lonmin’s Marikana operations

Author: Centre for Applied Legal Studies

'Complaint by affected community members in relation to the social and environmental impacts of Lonmin plc’s operation in Marikana', 15 Jun 2015: This is a Complaint to the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman…in relation to the…operation of…Lonmin’s…Marikana mine…All the individuals bringing the Complaint are women who live in and around the Marikana Mine and are directly affected by its impacts…The complaint can be summarised simply: life in the informal settlements around the Marikana Mine is dire. There is an absence of proper housing, proper sanitation, proper roads, and accessible and reliable running water. The air and groundwater…are polluted by the operations of the mine. To the extent that the mine offers benefits in the form of employment…despite promises from the IFC that its advice to Lonmin would substantially increase the employment opportunities for women…less than 8% of employees at the mine are currently women. In short, the IFC-supported Lonmin operation has caused immeasurable harm to the local communities…

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