As unrests continue in the South African mine industry after the Marikana massacre in Rustenburg, analysts say the strikes at South Africa’s mines show the dangers of persistent economic inequalities that disadvantage the black majority.
The strikes over pay at Marikana mine owned by a British mining group, Lonmin’s, which left 44 people dead and have spread to other platinum mines, clearly demonstrate the folly of having foreign capital in total control of mineral wealth.
A South African analyst from the benchmarks foundation, Mr Brown Motsau said the development in the mining sector should serve as a wakeup call for governments in Africa to ensure the workers and communities benefit from the mineral wealth in their countries.
“We have witnessed the developments in the mining sector and this should serve as a wake up call to government in Africa and beyond that people in mining communities should be able to benefit from their resources,” said Mr Motsau.
A local political analyst, Mr Godwills Masimirembwa says the latest developments show the danger of entirely depending on foreigners to control the mining sector.
He said the indigenisation programme embarked on by government should be used as a model by other countries in Africa to ensure that the employees and people in mining communities benefit from their mineral wealth.
“The events in the mining sector in South Africa demonstrate the folly of foreign capital being in control of the mining sector. In Zimbabwe we have the indigenisation programme which has been implemented fully and this is a model that can be copied by other countries,” Mr Masimirembwa said.
The British mining group Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Rustenburg, South Africa, became the epicenter of a wave of unrest that hit the vital South African mining sector in recent weeks, with tensions forcing several firms to suspend operations in the country's platinum belt.
Despite a government warning to clamp down on violent protests and the deployment of troops, unrest continued in the Rustenburg area.