Community Alerts/Zanele Tyeda/ Marikana-Rustenburg/05 April 2017
Marikana today is a land of rock dust and muddy water, where thousands of people live in informal settlements without access to electricity, adequate sanitation facilities or running water. They are desperate and angry; it is exactly as it was four years back. The main informal settlement is at Marikana, Nkaneng where many Lonmin mine workers live. Those who have electicity access it trough illegal connection. Shacks are made from scrap materials living dwellers/owners exposed to cold, heat, rain and wind. More than 20000 workers in Lonmin are migrants’ worker that is why housing is such an issue.
In 2006 Lonmin promised that by 2011 they would phase out all single sex hostels accommodation convert 114 hostels into bachelor or family units. Lonmin also pledge to build an additional 5500 houses connected to infrastructure for water, electricity and sewage.
When strike starts by 2012, workers were already unhappy about their living conditions. All Lonmin had done was build three show houses and convert 60 hostels. When Lonmin questioned about its failure to fulfil its obligations, they came with excuses of financial crash and lack of infrastructure in the area