2014 ARCHIVES > Press Releases...

We note with dismay the continued rush for profits by rent-seeking Trans-national Corporations (TNCs) at the cost of both human and animal life and the complete destruction of the environment...
 
2013 ARCHIVES > Press Releases...

The Bench Marks Foundation is deeply saddened by the death of the great activist against poverty and injustice, Nelson Mandela. Says Bishop Jo Seoka: "Madiba was the champion for the oppressed"....
Global steel giant ArcelorMittal is having a negative impact on the environment, its employees and the communities in and around Vanderbijlpark, according to a research report by the Bench Marks Foundation...
Bench Marks spoke to VEJA and interviewed residents, employees, ex-employees and other civil society organisations for this report, it became clear that the company performs poorly with regard to transparency and engagement...
The Bench Marks Foundation has questioned steel giant, ArcelorMittal's actions toward its past and present employees and to the communities surrounding its operations in a report released today...
Government, in line with its political mandate, must serve the poorest members of society, and cease what communities see as collusion with corporate power...
Policy Gap 7 is the Bench Marks Foundation's latest study. It focuses on CSR and Mining, but in this case on one specific mining company: Lonmin...
Almost 14 months ago, on August 16, 2012, conflict between capital and the state cost the nation 44 lives. Thirty-four workers were killed in a labour dispute with their employer, while another 10 workers, including police and security personnel, died violently....
From the onset let me commend the Bench Marks Foundation for its research initiatives that are aimed at resolving social problems affecting mineworkers, communities and the mining sector...
Mining impacts have winners and losers. The winners are shareholders and executive management and the losers are surrounding communities and workers...
There is a lack of accurate reporting of contract worker numbers and their wages in the platinum industry, which is in breach of the legislation...
The rapid grown in the platinum mining industry over the past 15 years has resulted in an influx of contract workers in areas surrounding the mines,...
Sustainability loses all meaning when a corporation does as it pleases and there are no consequences, says well-known corporate social responsibility monitoring NGO...
Companies which inflict damage on a society and the environment represent danger. This is a critical issue which any state must confront, says Bishop Jo Seoka...
A ruling made at the High Court on 14 October 2013, that the state must pay the legal costs for the survivors of the Marikana Massacre, is a great victory for the workers, their families and for democracy...
As much as mining has contributed to developing the South African economy, it has also had negative social, economic and environmental consequences. These need to be highlighted, debated, and actions agreed on by all stakeholders...
View this compelling SABC documentary detailing how the intensive mining of platinum in the North West Province is affecting the availability and quality of water...
Sustainable Women Empowerment and Gender Equality was the theme for this year's Women's Day and Month, but for women within mines and in the communities surrounding mines there is very little evidence that they have been empowered...
The instability and tension that gave rise to the Marikana Massacre a year ago, is still palpable and will remain so until the socio-economic conditions that gave rise to the events in the first place are addressed...
It is unforgivable that there has been a lack of financial support for mineworkers wounded and arrested during the Marikane massacre last year, resultig in them being unable to take part in the Farnham Commission...
The legitimate concerns of communities that are affected by mining will continue to fester and grow into new areas of conflict and strife if they are not dealt with...
We have to be wary of complicating an already very complicated situation by taking actions like sending in the army to the platinum belt...
It is unacceptable that prospective and new mining laws continue to be handled in a haphazard way, especially since it has been such a volatile sector over the past year, says the Bench Marks Foundation...
Listen to the podcast...
Acid rain and contaminated water continue to negatively impact farming activities and communities in areas in which mines operate, despite claims by mining companies...
The draft Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (MPRDA) was gazetted on 27 December 2012 by the Department of Mineral Resources without proper public consultation and participation, says the Bench Marks Foundation...
Women are still a minority in the mining sector, and particularly in the lower paid categories...
The Bench Marks Foundation requests a meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources to discuss our recommendations for the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill...
On Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th February 2013, the Bench Marks Foundation participated in a panel discussion at the JSE on the relevance of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)...
Tax avoidance, extreme environmental degradation of proposed, current and past mining activities, equitable redistribution of wealth and financial resources are some of the topics that will be debated at the Alternative Mining Indaba...
 
2012 ARCHIVES > Press Releases...

A tool to forge a broad-based campaign of church leaders, leaders of other religious faiths and civil society organisations aimed at serving the needs of people was launched by Rt Rev Dr Jo Seoka...
Over the next few days we will be discussing minerals and a just world, and will ask the question, "Whose resources?"...
Community members of the Vaal, ex-employees of ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) and supporting organisations of Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA), will march to ArcelorMittal's Vanderbijlpark premises today, 24 October 2012...
The high level of fragmentation within the mining industry is a contributing factor to the continued discontent of miners and mining communities which ultimately ends in strike action...
As strikes in mining communities throughout South Africa continue, the unhappiness that was so apparent during the Marikana strike will not go away until the root causes of discontent is addressed...
The Portfolio Committee on Mineral resources has received a briefing from the Benchmarks Foundation, on living conditions around the Marikana area...
How rock drill operators have secured their place as 'kings of the mine' underground...
The article in Business Report (September 5, 2012) by Keith Bryer cannot be left unanswered, the more so in that he asks us to reply to certain questions...
"It seems as if both government and Lonmin misread the situation on the platinum belt and now what seemed resolvable might become an untenable situation," said Bishop Jo Seoka, president of the SACC...
The Bench Marks Foundation says that its fears that the situation in Marikana might deteriorate seem to be coming true with the impasse with the striking Lonmin workers and Lonmin and the CCMA breaking down...
Talking about the brutal killings of the striking miners at Marikana raises all sorts of questions, but the truth is yet to be told by eyewitnesses...
The killings at Marikana could have been avoided if Lonmin's management had listened to the workers' concerns. There was no need for the strike - let alone the violence that led to the loss of 44 lives...
There has been some progress in the discussions between the miners in Marikana and the executive management of Lonmin weeks after the crisis began, says South African Council of Churches president and Bishop of Pretoria, Bishop Jo Seoka...
A memorial service will be held at the Lutheran Church hall in Marikana at 11am tomorrow morning for those miners who were killed in the violence that erupted as a result of strikes at the Lonmin Mine last week...
The Bench Marks Foundation expresses its deep regret over the killing of 34 Lonmin miners with another 78 wounded in Marikana on the 16th of August, and over the death of a further ten people earlier in the same week...
Yesterday the President of the SACC and Chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation, Bishop Jo Seoka and a team, met with the striking Lonmin workers. He was told by the striking workers that they wanted management to talk to them...
For the past three years, mining communities have been building a bank of blogs and Facebook sites, which have chronicled their experiences in the communities in which they live...
The situation for those who live in informal settlements around mines is abysmal with overcrowding, a lack of proper sanitation and potable water as well as a lack of electricity the norm...
John Capel, Executive Director for the Bench Marks Foundation argues that the loss of thousands of jobs can be avoided if these companies changed their mindset and prepared for leaner times...
Mining deaths and injuries continue to plague South Africa's mines and remains a serious cause of concern according to the Bench Marks Foundation...
The Bench Marks Foundation welcomes the recent judgment by the Constitutional Court on the ruling that permission is required from provinces prior to the commencement of mining by those who have obtained mining rights...
Government involvement in mining is essential, but it needs to lead to the betterment of those communities that depend upon mining operations as well as those who are affected by mining...
The abysmal situation thousands of miners have found themselves in following the debacle at Aurora Mine in the North West Province is nothing short of a human rights violation...
South Africa's water situation is in dire straits with acid mine drainage causing havoc by polluting our natural groundwater in several areas in the country...
Amartya Sen won the Nobel prize in economics for his finding that if one group of people's income rises faster than the national income, another group of people's income will decline...
Just why do a hundred civil society leaders from across the continent get together each year around the African Mining Indaba in what is called the Alternative Mining Indaba...
On Monday, 23 January, the Bench Marks Foundation launched the Bench Marks Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at the University of the North West in Potchefstroom, North West Province...
 
2011 ARCHIVES > Press Releases...

Bishop Jo Seoka, chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation, has warned that if richer countries do not submit themselves to a "just solution" to crises of the climate, poverty and inequality, they would be leading us to "Armageddon"...
Bench Marks Foundation supports the decision to encourage mining companies such as AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields to look at ways in which to reward their former mine workers who have suffered work-related injuries and sicknesses...
South Africa's steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, is slowly killing the future of many young people in the Joko Tea and Bophelong Townships in Vanderbijlpark, with the fumes produced by its Vanderbijlpark Works plant...
Through its Monitoring Action Project, Bench Marks teaches writing and computer skills to "monitors" who then observe and document problems faced by their communities. The monitors are chosen by a local community group...
The Bench Marks Foundation of South Africa asks De Beers and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to respond to the inadequacies in the community consultation process prior to transfer of mineral rights at Namaqualand Mines...
Churches have been challenged to support responsible investment, sustainable systems of production and sound economic development policies for poor communities...
Failure by mining companies to include in its cost accounting, the environmental, economic and social costs to the communities in which it operates, will push more people into absolute desperation and poverty and will thrust our planet towards extinction...
Questions and experiences around how corporate social responsibility impacts on communities socially, economically and environmentally will be issues that will be addressed at the Bench Marks Foundation's public AGM meeting on 14 June 2011...
Reports of the apparent meltdown of Botswana through strikes by teachers, medical personnel, border and state officials and the detention, interrogation and tear gassing of innocent people and children, is noted with concern by The Bench Marks Foundation...