Business as Usual After Marikana

Leave it to the president, government and “big business” and we will die.


The mining industry has always been the backbone of the South African economy, and it still is. A healthy and sustainable mining sector should accordingly form part of the focus of our efforts to heal this country and its people. Nevertheless, the history of mining in South Africa has been and continues to be characterised by the oppression and exploitation of workers under the policy of the migratory system. The new dispensation of 1994, rule under the African National Congress, did not assist much in changing the conditions at the mines. It continues to turn a blind eye to the unjust wages and living and working conditions of miners. 

Six years after the Marikana massacre we have still seen minimal change for mineworkers and mining communities. Although much has been written about the days leading up to 16 August 2012 and how little has been done, few have analysed the policies and system that make such a tragedy possible. Lonmin Platinum Mine and the events of 16 August are a microcosm of the mining sector and how things can go wrong when society leaves everything to government and “big business”.

Business as Usual after Marikana is a comprehensive analysis of mining in South Africa. Written by respected academics and practitioners in the field, it looks into the history, policies and business practices that brought us to this point. It also examines how bigger global companies like BASF were directly or indirectly responsible, and yet nothing is done to keep them accountable.

This publication, which starts by examining the long-term business relations between BASF and Lonmin, goes on to drill deeper into the hard rock of the persistent structures of inequality. By doing so we will understand that Marikana is not the tragic failure of an otherwise improving economic system but rather a calculated form of collateral damage.” – Bishop Jo Seoka, former president of the South African Council of Churches



Maren Grimm is a German documentary filmmaker, author and political activist based in Hamburg, Germany and Vienna, Austria. She teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as well as in independant networks. Together with Jakob Krameritsch, she founded the Plough Back the Fruits campaign in 2014 after discovering the involvement of the German chemical enterprise, BASF, with the Marikana massacre. 

Jakob Krameritsch is a historian working at the Institute for Cultural and Media Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria. Together with Maren Grimm he initiated the 2014 Plough Back the Fruits campaign which focuses on the platinum-supply chain of BASF ( In 2013 he edited the German version of Marikana. A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer by Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell and Bongani Xezwi. 

Britta Becker is a sociologist working as a project manager in the Africa department of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, with regional expertise on Southern Africa.

ISBN 978-1-928232-57-5
GENRE Current Affairs 
FORMAT Trade Paperback 
SIZE 235X155mm 
EXTENT 452pp
RIGHTS World Rights
RELEASE September 2018