PLATINUM MINING IN SOUTH AFRICA AND GERMAN INDUSTRY’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Panel discussion and film screenings with guests from South Africa and representatives from government, business and civil society.
It ends in the production of catalytic converters in German, US-American or Japanese factories. It begins in South African mines. In the “platinum belt”, north of Johannesburg, you can find around 80 per cent of the world’s platinum deposits,
belonging to the groups in Platinum Group Metals (PGM). Platinum is now the most valuable precious metal in the world, and Germany is – after the USA – its second largest importer.
The miners who extract these minerals often live in very poor conditions in informal settlements near the mine, without running water or electricity. In 2012, around 3,000 miners struck for higher wages and better living conditions. 34 miners were shot dead by the South African police. The Government Commission of Inquiry reported that the mine owner, the British company Lonmin, was partly responsible for the massacre.
One of the principal buyers of Lonmin’s platinum is BASF, the world’s largest chemical company and manufacturer of catalytic converters. The company has on various occasions declared that its responsibility in the supply chain verification
is just. BASF has not yet issued a comprehensive statement on the massacre and the poor living conditions of the people
on Marikana, which caused the strike (https://basflonmin.wordpress.com/).
The meeting organisers want to highlight the living and working conditions of the miners in South Africa and the
responsibility of companies like Lonmin and BASF. There will also be a discussion with representatives from politics,
industry and civil society about the options for political action in Germany for a just international minerals policy
and making the responsibility of employers compulsory.
PROGRAM THURSDAY, 21ST APRIL 2016
Location: Denkerei, Oranienplatz 2, 10999 Berlin | Simultaneous translation English/German
5:00 PM TO 5:10 PM WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Dr. Boniface Mabanza (Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika) and Maren Grimm (Akademie der Künste, Vienna)
5:10 PM TO 7 PM PLATINUM MINING IN SOUTH AFRICA – MARIKANA AND AFTERWARDS?
Introduction by Bishop Johannes Seoka (spokesperson for the miners, Chair of the Bench
Marks Foundation Johannesburg) followed by a panel discussion on the situation in
Marikana nearly four years after the massacre, and the demands of those affected
on the companies Lonmin and BASF.
With Judy Seidmann and Nomarussia Bonase (Khulumani Support Group), Ntombizolile
Mosebetsane and Agnes Makopano Thelejane for the widows of the Marikana victims,
Jakob Krameritsch (Akademie der Künste, Vienna) and Bishop Johannes Seoka
Moderator: Tanja Tabbara (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung)
PAUSE UND SNACK
7:30 PM TO 9 PM SUPPLY CHAIN RESPONSIBILITY: FROM NON-BINDING VOLUNTARY ACTIONS TO MANDATORY REGULATION
Introduction by Sarah Lincoln (Brot für die Welt) followed by a panel discussion on the scope of corporate
responsibility and the possibilities for political action – in Germany and internationally – for a just raw minerals
policy and effective supply chain responsibility.
With Niema Movassat (MP, DIE LINKE), Federal Foreign Office (tbc), Sarah Lincoln (Brot für die Welt),
Thorsten Pinkepank (BASF), Bishop Johannes Seoka (Bench Marks Foundation)
Moderator: Michael Windfuhr (German Institute for Human Rights)