In a debacle that has worsened tensions within the Marikana community in North West province, platinum miner Lonmin spent more than R20‑million on a major sanitation project for residents that ultimately delivered only two functioning toilets.
Mineworkers interviewed by amaBhungane blamed the collapse of the scheme on the company’s failure to provide proper oversight of the contract, which was originally meant to build 3 200 ventilated latrines.
Residents of the Nkaneng squatter camp said that, after the scheme was suspended, toilets in various stages of completion stood in an open field for several years. About 600 were finished to the level of fittings, but they were poorly built and eventually collapsed.
An inspection by amaBhungane showed that the two remaining latrines are in a filthy condition.
One worker described the scheme’s failure as a constant reminder of what the company thinks of its workforce.