The mining industry is crucial to South Africa, with the precious metals contributing 65% to export earnings and 21% of total exports of goods. The country provides about 80% of the platinum worldwide. The mining sector is, on the other hand, the largest employer in South Africa, with about 460,000 employees and another 400,000 employees distributed by suppliers of goods and services to the industry.
Located in South Africa, Lonmin operates in the mining sector, with over 25,000 employees, Lonmin is one of the largest producers of platinum in the world. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Its registered office is in London, and its operational headquarters are in Johannesburg.
There are several environmental factors affecting the labour relation in the Lonmin Marikana mine, three of those are the social-political environment, the economic environment and the social environment.
In the social environment factor is the paradox of South Africa, a country that experienced a steady growth over the past 10 years, only slowed by the recent global economic crisis. But, moreover, is also a country where 43 percent of the population are poor. More than one million families live in slums and estimates that 40 percent of the population is unemployed and more than 50 percent of the adult population suffers from AIDS, South Africa has a population of approximately 43 million inhabitants. This population has a high birth rate and a low life expectancy, about 52 years.
The employees of Lonmin at the Marikana are unqualified manpower, they are part of the poor side of the population, the salary is low and there is a distinction on the salary with the workers that are subcontractors and the ones who are not, in some mines, there may...