Marikana residents await release of Farlam report

Residents say living conditions in Marikana have not changed since the 2012 violence.

FILE: A cross erected on the koppie after the massacre as a symbol of the lives lost in Marikana. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - While Marikana residents eagerly await the release of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's report into the violence which erupted in 2012, they say nothing has been done to improve their living conditions.

The commission heard testimony from 50 witnesses about the violence at the North West platinum mine in 2012 and handed its findings to the president last week.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Shadow Minister for Human Settlements Makashule Gana visited the area today to see if any of the projects promised to the mining town's residents have progressed.

Almost three years ago, 34 miners were shot dead by police during an unprotected strike which made international headlines.

While the DA was unable to gain access to the hostels at Lonmin's Marikana mine, they did assess the informal settlement where many families of the victims from 2012 are living.

Gana says he's disappointed by what he's seen.

"Unfortunately, very little has happened, and all these things that the president talks about is what they hear on the radio. In their daily lives, nothing is changing."

There are no roads, toilets are scarce and litter is scattered around the area.

Miners, their families and the community are hoping for some improvement when the Marikana report is released to the public.

One man says government, mining bosses and the municipality have been talking about improving their living conditions for years.

It's still unclear if and when the president will release the report outlining the findings on the reasons for the violence in 2012.

Earlier today, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said the South African Police Service was ready to accept and implement the recommendations of the inquiry, but she stopped short of commenting on reports that it questions whether she's fit to hold office.