On 16 August 2012, 34 mine workers were killed at Marikana, South Africa, following a stand-off with the South African Police as a direct result of a wage dispute with a multinational mining company. The Marikana tragedy has highlighted the abject poverty suffered by mining-affected communities, with both labourers and local communities demanding a stake in mining activities affecting their area. The promises of a ?better life? remain largely unfulfilled, with the consequence that many communities live in barren and polluted environments blighted by crime, unemployment and failing infrastructure.
The root of the matter lies in the age-old economic debate over natural resources endowment, more particularly as it relates to resource-dependant developing countries. One way to address this challenge is through transparency, which is not an end in itself but is fundamental in empowering an informed constituency to demand the adequate and equitable use of natural resource revenues for optimum development impact.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) could create a much-needed platform for dialogue between government, extractive companies, labour representatives and communities. However, despite continued calls to join the initiative, South Africa?s government, citing various reasons, continues to refuse to subscribe to the standard. With labour agitation increasing, the country?s extractive industry dwindling and local communities gaining momentum in their quests, the need for South Africa?s extractive industries to be subject to greater reform and transparency is becoming a necessity.
Acknowledging the need for greater collaboration between the various stakeholders, one of the key questions asked at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba in May 2016, was on how to forge a tripartite between Government, Business and Labour to improve the extractive industry in South Africa. This study submits that the focus should move to a quadripartite to also accommodate the views and contributions from the Community as a fourth pillar towards collective governance.
This study therefore explores the suitability of the implementation of the EITI as a transparency standard towards the development and fostering of a culture of co-ownership between the various stakeholders of South Africa?s mining sector, with a view to achieving meaningful and effective collective governance of South African extractive industries.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2017.