Who We Are

Bench Marks Foundation was founded by the Churches in 2001 to monitor all multinational companies in South Africa and the region, with a regional focus on South African companies’ expansion into Africa. It has done work on South African supermarkets in Africa, on whether they are purely extractive or contribute to host countries economic development. It has a big focus on mining and extractive both in South Africa and in Botswana, Zambia and the DRC, as well as Malawi. This focus has also led to focus on the relationship between banks investment policies and mining and other sectors of the economy.

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Bench Marks Foundation has worked with a number of international NGO’s on human rights due diligence and of the biggest buyers of platinum and international companies supply chain responsibilities encompassing human rights and the environment.  With a focus on South African Companies expanding into the rest of Africa.

Bench Marks Foundation works with an international coalition of faith-based organizations from around the world that developed the Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility-Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance, that has been hailed as one of four leading instruments that set benchmarks for social responsibility through the lens of corporate social responsibility covering all sectors of the economy

Mission

To be on every company’s agenda and to be a household name

Vision

Bench Marks Foundation is committed to providing leadership and advocacy on bench marking of good corporate governance, ethical and socially responsible investment as well as linking people and institutions committed to these ideals

Values

Pro poor and on the side of those suffering – an option and solidarity for the poor, speaking truth to power, to the promotion, attainment, and restoration of human dignity. A Values driven organization that is highly ethical, accountable and acts with integrity and has an excellent track record both in its work, governance, and financial integrity.

Research - Policy Gap Series

We critically examine CSR through the lens of investment and investment impacts. Is it good or bad? Do the costs outweigh the benefits? Companies, governments and civil society, both locally and globally, recognize us as a key role player and opinion maker regarding CSR and sustainable development.

Voice Power and Media Advocacy

Currently communities are severely disadvantaged when it comes to mining companies. Communities often lack information and access to expert advice, and end up giving their rights away.They also lack recourse to justice when they are aggrieved. Women and children are particularly impacted.

Community Monitoring School

The Bench Marks Foundation has mobilized and trained members from over forty communities in South Africa to monitor corporations and local government. Community Monitors report on their findings using internet, social media, local radio and newsletters.

The Independent Capacity Building Fund (ICF) And The Independent Problem Solving Service

Currently communities are severely disadvantaged when it comes to mining companies. Communities often lack information and access to expert advice, and end up giving their rights away.They also lack recourse to justice when they are aggrieved.

John Capel, Executive Director of the Bench Marks Foundation, has resigned effective from 31 December 2021. He has served the organization with distinction over the last twenty years. the board and staff thank him for his services and wish him well in his future endeavors. the deputy Director Moses Cloete will serve as acting Executive Director in the interim.

BenchMarks

Going underground: When and from where will miners get their promised Covid-19 vaccines?

  Civil society organizations sounded the alarm when mining was declared an essential service in South Africa during the country’s lockdown. They feared the congregate nature of the work would put miners and mining-affected communities at particular risk of Covid-19. Now that the vaccination rollout has begun, these organizations have demanded a detailed plan on […]

BenchMarks

Open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister Gwede Mantashe…

Open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister Gwede Mantashe, Minister Zweli Mkhize and Mr Mxolisi Mgojo (Minerals Council) demanding the development of a plan for vaccinating mining-affected communities and mineworkers as a matter of urgeny As members of mining-affected communities, organised labour and civil society we are alarmed that at present government and the mining […]

The poor and working class bear the brunt of the five-week lockdown

By Humairaa Mayet As Covid-19 spreads rapidly around the country, even during the government-mandated lockdown, all classes are affected. It is, however, abundantly clear that poor and working people are the most affected and will continue to bear the brunt of the five-week lockdown. Hassen Lorgat of the Bench Marks Foundation spoke to Salaamedia’s Azhar […]

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Safety First: Guidelines for Responsible Mine Tailings Management

This document, published jointly by Earthworks (USA) and MiningWatch Canada, outlines guidelines for safety, respect for affected communities, and corporate accountability that must be incorporated into any tailings standards or regulations. Please see this page for related materials – maps, summaries, and infographics, as well as the related news release and supporting quotes. Current industry […]

Interview with Kirsten Youens.

Lead researcher at the Bench Marks Foundation David Van Wyk says it is important to look and understand what the socioeconomic situation of miners is.

“Conversation with Tshepo Mmusi” from Podcast Bulleting 04 by Bench Marks Foundation. Released: 2022.