Lonmin to support families of dead miners

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Miner sets up helpline for families and promises to pay for education.

Lonmin’s chief financial officer Simon Scott released a statement following the deaths of miners and police during clashes at its platinum Marikana mine.

Scott’s statement was released last Friday, August 17, outlining that a special help desk had been set up for families to call if they had not heard from their loved ones. The mining company is also offering support to the families of those killed, and says it will pay for their childrens’ education from primary school to university. 

He said: "On behalf of the whole company I would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those employees who have lost their lives, not only in the events of Thursday but also in the days leading up to it, and of course to the families and colleagues of the two South African Police Service officers who died trying to protect others.

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“I would like to thank all those Lonmin staff, whether they have been able to get to work or not, for their dedication and efforts.

“We are committed to supporting all the families that lost loved ones during this tragic week. We have established a help desk at Lonmin’s Andrew Saffy Hospital, which will help families with the identification of bodies, assist with all the burial arrangements and offer bereavement counselling.

“In addition to the help hesk dervices, Lonmin commits to provide funding for the education of all the children of employees who lost their lives. This funding will cover education costs from primary school to university.

Scott said that Lonmin has worked "tirelessly to achieve effective and open labour relations” and that the company has liaised with unions that its employees are part of in the past to ensure that it generally oeprates in partnership with the unions to benefit the company and its workfoce.

"Like all companies, we have had disagreements [with the unions, but] we have generally operated in partnership with the unions to the benefit of the company and the employees, which is why the illegal strike we’ve seen is so disappointing and damaging," Scott said.

Lonmin has invested "hundreds of millions" in the local area to provide providing housing, health services, education and also training to help local people achieve qualifications to get jobs in mining and other industries.

"There is much still to be done on and around our property and we are committed to continuing this effort and investment. This last week has dealt those efforts a severe blow. We must start to rebuild those relationships, starting today, building back trust and trying to move forwards.

“Finally, a stable mining sector is vital to the economic future of this country. If the industry continues to be damaged by illegal actions it is not just the economy which suffers, but all our employees, their families and dependents. We need our employees to come back to work and we need to get mining again.”

 

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