Government joins the nation in the commemoration of the events that led to the Marikana tragedy in August 2012. This incident will forever be ingrained in the minds of the people of South Africa.
At this very difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those who lost their lives and those who were maimed. As a nation birthed on the recognition and respect of human rights as a bedrock of our democratic society, Government has vowed that such incidents should never again be repeated in a democratic South Africa.
Government has since the conclusion of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry made great progress in implementing the recommendations of the Inquiry, among which has been to ensure the South African Police Service (SAPS) strengthens their capacity of public order policing. A total of 3 825 members from Public Order Policing have participated in basic training in crowd management. We have in recent times witnessed SAPS' ability to effectively manage crowds in the interest of maintaining law and order during protests around the country. Furthermore, all criminal matters related to the Marikana tragedy is now before our courts.
We have made great progress in the reparations for families. A year ago, Government paid a total of R67 million to the legal representatives of the families, in the finalised cases, for arrests, detention claims and for a loss of support. With regard to compensation for general damages, discussions between government and representatives of the affected families are taking place and we hope that they will be concluded in due course.
The Department of Human Settlements launched a R700 million housing project for Marikana and to date, 544 housing units have been completed. For the 2018/19 financial year, the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) has focused interventions towards informal settlement upgrading; land use management; extension and sharing of bulk infrastructure to support basic service provision; increasing home ownership and rental housing opportunities.
Government and mining companies in Rustenburg, Madibeng region are engaged in private public partnerships in sharing bulk and reticulation infrastructure in order to deliver basic services such as water and sanitation to mine communities such as Marikana. There is an acknowledgement that much more needs to be done to improve the socio-economic status of mining communities. Government pledges its full support, in partnership with mining companies and communities, to accelerate change in the living and working conditions of mine workers.
The Presidency is finalising consultations with all stakeholders, including AMCU (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) and NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) on an appropriate time and date for President Ramaphosa to visit Marikana to assess the implementation of the recommendations of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.
Government, working together with all our partners including business and labour, will ensure that the values that underpin our democracy such as respect for human rights and the right to life are adhered to. Never again shall we allow such a tragedy to befall our nation.
Source: Government of South Africa