Saturday, 25 August 2012

Cheats and apartheid in Lonmin, South Africa

Colonial Capitalism is alive and well, hiding under the name ‘globalisation’.
 Lonmin [LonRho],  Glencore, Xstrata, [Glenstrata], operate mining companies in South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and other outposts of colonial empires, and have their luxurious headquarters in the City of London. The companies are shareholders of each other. In 2008, Glenstrata made a take over bid for Lonmin.

Lonmin, as Lonrho, forty years ago, under Sir Angus Ogilvy, became a major player in the UK media, with links to members of Parliament, as well as members of the Royal Family. Today, as Lonmin, it is a mining company, with  platinum mines in South Africa.

Recent events in South Africa raises the issue of what has changed since the days of apartheid. Under the Boers it was common for white officers to assault black workers.    It was common for white bosses to exploit black workers. It was common for black workers to do the most dangerous jobs for the least wages.

In August 2012, under the ANC, we had to witness black officers shooting and killing up to 44 black workers, and injuring about 100 others, on the grounds of a Lonmin mine. There had been no preliminary warning shots of  rubber bullets, only tear gas.   After the shootings the President Zuma demanded an enquiry, rather than arresting the police officers responsible for the killings.

In August 2012, it becomes clear that Lonmin makes significant profits from the 2 platinum mines it operates in South Africa., while paying the miners less than a living wage! The dispute is about wages and conditions of work, and the workers have refused to be intimidated by Lonmin.
In 2012, revenues of Lonmin were $1.99billion, and profits $156 million.

In Zambia, the GlenStrata mines at Mufulira pay workers minimum wages, create serious pollution including sulphur poisoning, and acid rain. A recent story by  John Sweeney of the BBC reported that in the DRCongo, at the Luilu refinery, Glenstrata continues to mine and refine copper by using sulphuric acid, and pouring the residues directly back into the local river........while declaring that it is busy looking after the environment, and improving the living conditions of the workers!
It is time for the actions of these ‘colonial capitalists’ to be monitored, supervised, and regulated by government agents, and for them to be required to pay taxes on their massive profits.
It is time that the indigenous owners of the land, and the workers of the mines, benefit from their assets and skills. It is time that the white bosses stopped exploiting black workers.


  1. Do not forget the London listed small juniors like Vedanta Resources Plc.
    For more details:

  2. I have taken your advice and looked at VEDANTA, and the FOILVEDANTA web sites
    It is clear that VEDANTA is another example of blatant corporate ir-responsibility, involved in the destruction of the environment, and the disruption of communities.
    I have used your pages about Vedanta, and the Stop the AGM campaign.