Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-mp689 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-17T22:37:08.618Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 4 - Chiefs, Mines and the State in the Platinum Belt: The Bapo-ba-Mogale Traditional Community and Lonmin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2021

William Beinart
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Rosalie Kingwill
Affiliation:
University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Gavin Capps
Affiliation:
Kingston University, London
Get access

Summary

This chapter arises out of the collective effort of the Mining and Rural Transformation in Southern Africa (MARTISA) research project at the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP), University of the Witwatersrand. My own involvement in researching Bapo history results from long-term academic engagement on the platinum belt. This has included work on legal cases that were brought to support community rights to land and resources, as well as for the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, particularly in relation to the Bapo case itself.

The land near Rustenburg on which the Marikana platinum mine is situated is that of the Bapo-ba-Mogale traditional community. Mining started on this land in the 1970s, yet the community has seen very little benefit. Conflicts between different branches of the chieftaincy have made it difficult for the larger community to become beneficiaries. The state and its officials have acted in such a way as to siphon off the income from the mines rather than return it to the community. This chapter explores the complex and shifting relationship between Lonmin, the mining corporation, the Bapo chiefs and the provincial government since mining began in this area. A particular focus is the multiple crises in legitimate community authority and representation, which have been affected by the interests of Lonmin and the government's interventions. This in turn raises larger questions about contested histories around traditional authorities when they become vehicles for the management of major resources. New legislative frameworks also underpin the experience of traditional councils, communities and ‘empowerment’. These are issues of growing concern as they are increasingly replicated across the rural areas of South Africa.

The bulk of this chapter focuses on the long and troubled relationship between chiefs, mines and government. In particular it details the enormous financial losses, of over R600 million, suffered by the Bapo community. In 2012, Lonmin's corporate image was shattered by the Marikana massacre. In the commission of inquiry that followed, Lonmin's failure to meet its social obligations to the surrounding area – a condition of its licence to mine – was laid bare. The spotlight also fell on the dubious role played by Cyril Ramaphosa, a non-executive director on the board of Lonmin, and CEO of its main black economic empowerment (BEE) partner, Shanduka.

Type
Chapter
Information
Land, Law and Chiefs in Rural South Africa
Contested histories and current struggles
, pp. 81 - 103
Publisher: Wits University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×