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Parliament to accommodate Lonmin miners

The mineral resources portfolio committee wants a report on living conditions at the Marikana mines.

Mzukisi and Nkosilungile Goqweni said one had to pay a bribe to get employment at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Marikana miners have clocked in for work on Thursday and operations at the North West mine is underway.

The mineworkers signed a wage agreement this week which will see their salaries increase by up to 22 percent.

Meanwhile, the chair of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources said a report on the plight of communities in the platinum belt shows that companies are not complying with the mining charter.

Non-government organisation, Bench Marks, briefed the committee on Wednesday about the social and economic problems in the mineral-rich Bojanala district.

The area made headlines when 46 people were killed during the wage strike.

High youth unemployment, deteriorating water quality, a collapsing sewage system and inadequate education facilities are some of the problems affecting residents in the district.

Portfolio Committee Chairperson Fred Gona said, "A lot of mining companies do not implement the mining charter provisions as expected."

The Bench Marks Foundation's John Capel has made recommendations to the committee.

"We need a bigger investigation into the living conditions of workers and how one can have bigger revenue sharing."

The NGO said government and mining companies need to address the problem to avoid further unrest in the platinum belt.

Additionally, Lonmin said it was actively examining its policies to prevent another tragedy such as the Marikana bloodbath

Violence at the mine over the past six weeks has left 46 dead and many more injured.

Acting Lonmin CEO Simon Scott said more could be done.

He said the mining crisis was a problem for mine stakeholders and the country's economy.

He added that Lonmin would now focus on how to do things more effectively to address issues between management and workers.

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