BASF: Massive job losses at platinum supplier Lonmin in South Africa

  • Notorious mining company Sibanye-Stillwater wants to take over Lonmin
  • Threat of massive job losses exacerbates precarious living conditions in Marikana
  • International Campaign calls on BASF to agree steps to improve living and working conditions across its supply chain

At BASF’s Annual General Meeting on May 3 in Mannheim, the South African-European campaign Plough Back the Fruits will condemn the German chemical company for neglecting human rights in its business relations with South Africa.

Almost seven years after the Marikana Massacre, where over a hundred miners were shot by the police, killing 34, working and living conditions remain unacceptable at Lonmin, BASF’s most important platinum supplier. The majority of the workers in the South African mining town of Marikana still live in slums without running water, sanitation or electricity. Lonmin is legally bound by the Social and Labour Plan (SLP) to provide better working and living conditions.

“BASF’s Board must now prove that it insists on compliance with legal obligations and takes its supply chain responsibility seriously,” says South African Bishop Seoka, campaign representative. “The long-promised improvements of living conditions in Marikana must finally be implemented.”

Lonmin is expected to be taken over by Sibanye-Stillwater, a company notorious for its high number of workplace fatalities with 24 deaths in 2018 alone. As a result of the takeover, 12,600 jobs at Lonmin are now under threat.

“The workers and the community of Marikana are very concerned. If Lonmin disappears as a company, there will be no one left to answer for the crimes against them and for the environmental destruction,” adds Seoka, who will also address the shareholders at BASF’s Annual Meeting.

BASF promotes itself as a pioneer in corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If the Lonmin acquisition is successful, BASF will have the opportunity to demonstrate that these claims are more than just empty words and that the social and ecological violence of “business as usual” does not continue.

“In its new contract with Sibanye-Stillwater, BASF has to agree on clear steps to improve the living and working conditions of workers. This agreement must be made available so that the Marikana community can monitor its implementation,” says Andries Nkome, a lawyer representing 279 workers illegally arrested after the Marikana Massacre. “It is a scandal that to date not all victims of the massacre have been fully compensated just because no one wants to take responsibility,” adds Nkome, who will also attend BASF’s shareholders’ meeting.

Interviews before the Annual Meeting
with Bishop Johannes Seoka and Andries Nkome are possible in front of the Congress Center Rosengarten from 8.30 a.m. on 3 May 2019.

Press contacts:

Andries Nkome (Pretoria, South Africa) Attorney at Law, Victim Representative

Bishop Jo Seoka (Johannesburg, South Africa) Chairman of Bench Marks Foundation

Boniface Mabanza, KASA, mobile 0049 1522 5411899, boniface.mabanza[at]

Tilman Massa, Ethical Shareholders Germany, mobile 0049 157 71899092,

Twitter: @Lonmin_BASF @Krit_shareholders #PloughBackTheFruits

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