Lives of those living in Marikana not changed: Mathunjwa

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Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa says the lives of those living in the mining community of Nkaneng Informal Settlement in Marikana, in the North West, have not yet been improved.

This despite the promises made by the then mining company Lonmin, which is now Sibanye Stillwater.

On Sunday, Amcu is commemorating the eighth anniversary of the Marikana massacre where 34 Lonmin mineworkers were shot dead by police during a strike for a R12 500 basic monthly salary.

The union will be leading today’s commemoration event, which will be held in Johannesburg for the first time since the tragedy due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mathunjwa was speaking during an exclusive interview with SABC News, ahead of the anniversary.

“Go and look at Nkaneng and different spaces where these mining houses are mining, it’s appalling the conditions of the people who are living under these areas. The same Nkaneng has no streetlights, no tarred road, no water and no formal accommodation. There is nothing at all, and you look at how much this CEO’s are earning. They are earning more than the state President, can you believe it.”

However, Mathunjwa says the only positive that came from the Marikana tragedy is the increase in mineworkers’ salaries.

“We have achieved through pain, remember even after the massacre we had to embark on a five months strike. But at the end of the day today there is no worker on his basic salary who is earning less than R13 000 on a basic entry-level, and going up to 15, 16 others R17  000 without any benefit. It came with a pain they never gave us on a silver platter. We can say we did achieve under those conditions.”

In the video below, Mathunjwa speaks to the SABC News: