Bapong Community Strikes
By Dinah Mogapi
Bapong is a rural area situated in between Marikana and Brits. It is where the greater Lonmin Platinum’s operations take place. We have diverse cultures in the area, people who were employed by Lonmin Platinum and some of them still are. This has increased the population of the Bapo area namely: Bapong, Segwaelane and Wonderkop. As a result the community is experiencing lack of service delivery from the government and the traditional council.
Bapo is a community faced by a high rate of unemployment. The community would often request the mine to employ from the local people as they are the land owners that the mine is operating in. The mine would sometimes hire a certain number from the community, but the community members would still remain unsatisfied about the number the mine hired and these often leads to illegal strikes. This illegal strike against the mine affects the mine production and employees because they would be told not to go to work. Those who take risk of going often end up being injured or killed by the masses.
There is a bus company that is contracted to the mine to transport the mine employees, these buses would be burned as means of stopping people from going to work. The local business would also have to close down their business fearing they might be burned down.