Improving relationships with government

Construction of 168 apartments is in progress.
Lonmin treats 5Ml of waste water from communities per day.


Government is a key stakeholder for Lonmin, and ensuring a constructive relationship at local (municipal), provincial and national level is critical for the Company to operate effectively. Mining and beneficiation are highly regulated industries and most aspects of the Company’s activities require close interaction with regulators, including in the areas of safety, health and wellness, environment and transformation.

Lonmin’s energy strategy is monitored against the Department of Energy’s policy requirements.

The challenges facing Lonmin and the industry include many that arise from the broader systemic societal issues of South Africa. These challenges can only be addressed through solutions that involve a multi-stakeholder process and effective collaboration from government. A good working relationship with the South African government is therefore important, not only because our operating assets are located entirely in South Africa, but also due to our vision of shared value for all.

We are committed to driving sustainable change in those areas we can directly affect. However, the responsibility for broader change and development is shared with government at all levels. Government’s role as a regulator and socio-political leader creates the environment for business and development to thrive or die.

Employee and government relations

We acknowledge our responsibility to support development in local communities and drive the solution to reasonable accommodation, but this is only possible where the business is able to generate sufficient returns and through a collaborative partnership with government.

Mining companies are obliged by the Broad-based Socio-economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining Industry (the Mining Charter) to assist their employees in improving living conditions. Lonmin complied with the Mining Charter requirements regarding hostel conversion, and donated 50 hectares of serviced land to the Provincial Human Settlements Department. Government has constructed housing for rent on this land (Marikana Extension 2), some of which is allocated to Lonmin employees.

Safety, health and government relations

Government, through the DMR, is invested, like Lonmin, in driving an improved attitude towards safety and a safety culture. This is done through imposing Section 54 stoppages under the South African Mine Health and Safety Act, No 29 of 1996 (Mine Health and Safety Act). We strive to build strong relationships with regulators and participate in industry-wide safety initiatives. Legislative changes in the Mine Health and Safety Act were promulgated during the year, which have a cost implication. These changes relate to management of explosives, vehicles to be fitted with detection systems, and the frequency of rock engineers’ audit cycles. Our community health initiatives support government priorities through awareness and outreach programmes, particularly in the areas of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/Aids. More information regarding these initiatives is available in the Safety and Health chapter.

Social licence to operate and government relations

The five-year Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) set up in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, No 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) focus on transformation and socio-economic development initiatives that aim to improve the socio-economic conditions of employees and communities. More information is available in the Social Licence to Operate chapter.

Environmental matters and government relations

More than 50 environment-related licences, authorisations and permits apply to Lonmin’s daily activities. Maintaining strong relationships with government supports the practical implementation of environmental policies in a spirit of collaboration and acknowledgement of the Company’s specific context and challenges. Details of Lonmin’s legal obligations under the various environmental regulations that apply to the Company’s operations are available in the Environment chapter.

Engaging with government

Our representatives engage with government at the levels relevant to the nature of the engagement. For example, engagements with the DMR’s safety inspectors will involve operational safety representatives, but engagements regarding Mining Charter compliance are the responsibility of the Executive Vice-President for Human Resources and Executive Vice-President for Communications and Public Affairs.

Engagements to address potential capacity constraints in local government are an important early stage in local community infrastructure projects. Stakeholder engagements with government in the months leading up to the local government elections in August 2016 were challenged by the inevitable focus on upcoming polls. Since the elections, the new ward council structures are being put in place, and we will work with these structures.

During the course of business, Lonmin engages with all three tiers of government directly and also through various business and industry organisations such as the South African Chamber of Mines and the National Business Institute (NBI) so that the Company’s positions on matters of importance are represented at the correct level of responsibility. We also participate in initiatives such as the Mining Phakisa and the Peace Accord that aim to align the interests of the mining industry, regulators, labour and communities.

Driving compliance

A broad range of laws, government policies, guidelines and frameworks apply to the mining industry. Lonmin engages with representatives from many government departments on a regular basis to manage and demonstrate commitment, implementation and compliance with these requirements.

Review of Mining Charter obligations

Mining rights are issued in terms of the MPRDA and measured against targets set in the Broad-based Socio-economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining Industry (the Mining Charter). The Revised 2010 Mining Charter set targets to 2014, and these apply until replaced by the next revision.

The Mining Charter targets drive transformation and socio-economic development in the mining industry across nine areas. These include promoting meaningful economic partnership by Historically Disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) in the industry through mine ownership, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement and enterprise development provisions. It further includes provisions aimed at improving housing and living conditions for mineworkers and promoting community development. Sustainable development commitments include environmental management compliance, health and safety, and capacity and skills aspects. The Mining Charter also aims to promote local beneficiation in line with government’s mineral beneficiation strategy.

The draft of the reviewed Mining Charter was released in April 2016, and is being discussed by industry stakeholders. Elements of the proposed Charter as it currently stands will have a substantial impact on mining companies. However, the legal process before publication and the ongoing dialogue between industry and government continues.

Social and Labour Plans (SLPs)

SLPs commit a mining company to a five-year plan of projects designed to address key socio-economic challenges in local communities. These projects are identified and planned in close collaboration with community stakeholders and local, regional and national government. Many of the projects support government’s social development agenda, the National Development Plan (NDP) and municipal integrated development plans (IDPs). Mining companies must submit their SLPs to the DMR, and delivery on projects is required to retain their legal and social licence to operate.

Mining and prospecting rights

Lonmin’s primary legal licence to operate is its mining rights issued in terms of the MPRDA. Our new order mining rights for core operations continue to 2037 and are then renewable to 2067. Retention of these mining rights is linked to continued compliance with the requirements of the MPRDA, including substantially meeting the targets set by the Mining Charter and the Environmental Management Programme commitments.

Various other licences apply to specific areas within our operations, such as our water use licences, atmospheric emissions licences and waste licences.

These initiatives help Lonmin to comply with the requirements of its operating and legal licences, and compliance is assured by regular internal and external audits. As importantly, the Company is committed to retaining its social licence to operate through the initiatives described in the Social Licence to Operate chapter.

Government priorities

Lonmin is committed to investing in initiatives that align with South Africa’s developmental goals to contribute to a better future for all. Our socio-economic development projects are derived in collaboration with government and, wherever possible, are designed to support the country’s broader overarching goals.

The Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry

Lonmin is a signatory to the July 2013 Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry, also known as the Peace Accord. This agreement between government, labour and business, defines the roles of each party and outlines their commitments. The Peace Accord aims to support improved working and living conditions for mine workers, and accelerate transformation to redress the historical imbalances, legacies and inequalities in the mining industry.

Lonmin’s commitment to transformation and its investment in improving accommodation and contributing to the socio-economic development of local and labour-sending communities align with the goals of the Peace Accord.

The National Development Plan (NDP)

The NDP defines the South African government’s goals to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, prioritising employment through faster economic growth and improving the quality of education, skills development and innovation. Lonmin supports the NDP and is committed to playing its part in achieving its goals. Our socio-economic development initiatives aim to address the most pressing community needs, which generally align with the NDP.

Project Phakisa for mining was announced last year to fast-track the issues highlighted by the NDP. It is a government initiative that aims to accelerate the delivery of some of the development priorities for the mining industry and local communities.

Local infrastructure development plans (IDPs)

Local infrastructure development forms the basis of many of our community development initiatives. The Mining Charter stipulates that infrastructure development in terms of an SLP must align with regional and municipal IDPs.


Beneficiation is incorporated into the MPRDA Amendment Bill, which has yet to be signed into law. The Bill grants the Minister of Mineral Resources wide powers, including the discretion to declare certain minerals as strategic, determine what percentage of strategic minerals are to be made available locally, set the developmental price at which strategic minerals are to be sold and decide the conditions applicable to export permits. We are supportive of the underlying intention of local beneficiation, and it is important that the legislation as finally enacted achieves these intentions without undermining the competitiveness of the local mining industry.

We continue to investigate ways to maximise platinum beneficiation, and are actively involved in the SEDA Platinum Incubator (SPI) in the North West. The SPI’s mandate has expanded beyond the jewellery industry. Lonmin is working with a consortium of academic institutions and private companies to establish a 3D platinum printing incubation service for South Africa’s additive manufacturing sector. (Refer to

Key government departments

We interact with various government departments at local, provincial and national level to address regulatory compliance and monitoring requirements. Community infrastructure projects must be coordinated and aligned with local, provincial and national priorities to avoid project delays that hinder social delivery. The most important of these government departments are discussed in the table below.

South Africa’s mineral and mining resources are regulated by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), with the objective of ensuring their optimal use and benefits to the economy. The DMR monitors and regulates mine safety, health and environment, social performance and transformation.

Lonmin and the DMR

  • Lonmin’s legal licence to operate is regulated by the DMR.
  • SLPs are submitted to the DMR for approval on a five‑year basis.
  • Environmental management plans (EMPs) are a mandatory requirement to operate.
  • Performance against EMPs is regularly submitted to the DMR.
  • Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and EMPs are submitted for the operation of listed activities and relevant activities, required under NEMA, but managed through the DMR.
  • Occupational health and safety performance is regulated and monitored by the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate.
  • Transformation and empowerment performance is measured against the requirements of the Mining Charter.

The Department of Labour (DoL) regulates labour relations in South Africa with the objective of reducing unemployment, poverty, inequality and protecting human rights.

Lonmin and the DoL

  • All employee contracts comply with labour relations legislation for fair and equitable terms and conditions of employment.
  • All employees have the right to collective bargaining and negotiations can be facilitated through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
  • Employee development in the mining industry is facilitated and promoted by The Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). Lonmin works closely with the MQA to improve and promote training.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) enables structural economic transformation by facilitating investment in trade and enterprise development. The department administers broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE).

Lonmin and the dti

  • We promote and support small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in the GLC.
  • Promotion of transformation in the workforce.
  • Procurement contracts based on B-BBEE status verification form part of the broader preferential procurement framework.

The Department of Health (DoH) ensures that all South Africans can enjoy their basic right of access to healthcare.

Lonmin and the DoH

  • Regular monitoring and reporting against compliance requirements in the provision of occupational and primary healthcare at our clinics and hospital.
  • Ongoing awareness, voluntary counselling and testing campaigns, and contact tracing for HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB).

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) administrates, maintains and regulates a sustainable education system in which all South Africans have access to life-long learning and training.

Lonmin and the DBE

  • Monitoring of school administration in the GLC.
  • Support of school infrastructure projects.
  • Provision of a daily meal to schools in the GLC through the National School Nutrition Project.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is responsible for the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources, including sustainable development and the equitable distribution of the benefits derived from natural resources.

Lonmin and the DEA

  • EIAs are submitted for non-mining-related listed activities and relevant activities.
  • Lonmin’s legal licence to operate is framed by compliance to and implementation of various environmental acts underpinned by the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) pertaining to waste, air, biodiversity and land.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) formulates and implements policy governing water in South Africa. It has an overriding mandate for the provision of water services by local government.

Lonmin and the DWS

  • Matters pertaining to our water use licence.
  • Efficient water use and sustainability.
  • Bulk infrastructure projects as part of human settlements plan to address accommodation in the GLC.

The Department of Energy (DoE) is responsible for the transformation and sustainability of the energy sector through various regulations.

Lonmin and the DoE

  • Lonmin’s energy management strategy is regulated and monitored against the DoE’s policy requirements.

This department is responsible for the social and economic development of rural South Africa and land reform.

Lonmin and the DRDLR

  • The BEE transaction with local communities, discussed in BEE equity ownership, was authorised by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform because all mineral rights are owned by government.
  • Lonmin’s community development strategy has to align with the NDP.
  • All development plans at local and provincial government level must find expression in the IDPs, which we aim to achieve through our SLPs.

The Department of Social Development (DSD) aims to reduce poverty and promote social integration through providing social protection and social welfare services.

Lonmin and the DSD

  • Several of Lonmin’s socio-economic development initiatives are delivered in co-operation with the DSD, specifically those that support orphans and vulnerable children and community health initiatives.