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Marikana Renewal Programme


ReimagineSA has worked with Sibanye-Stillwater since December 2020 in support of efforts to Honour those directly affected by the tragic events of 2012; Engage transparently and constructively with those impacted by the lingering effects of the legacy of the Marikana Massacre, to better Create shared value with key community-based stakeholders invested in catalysing alternative economies that can stand independent of the current mining dependent economy.


The ReimagineSA team has played a critical support role in helping Sibanye-Stillwater initiate its plans to gradually evolve from programme catalyst of the Renewal Programme in 2020 to programme partner in a local social compact by 2025. Their goal for 2040 is to become patron to process of co-creating in aid of alternative economic development.


PHASE 1: Trust Building for Healing and Closure

The most fragile part of the Letsema Process is trust building. This required being mindful that the people being engaged experienced exploitation of their trauma on multiple occasions since the massacre. At the start of the journey engagements with the Women and Guardians of the 1608 Trust explored what healing and closure means to different people,  A sentiment was raised to complete the ritual for their loved ones. 


KEY LEARNING: To gain deeper insights around how the Honour phase could best serve these needs, this helped us inform considerations of what it might mean to get an audience with the families and elders. The reality of the labour sending geographics in the group strongly influenced how we would proceed: among with 44 breadwinners who had lost their lives,  as many as 37 in total were from outside of the  NW province.


Prior to visiting families in their home villages, steps were taken to observe traditional protocols initiating Renewal. These included engaging with Traditional Leaders and CoGTA officials; meeting with the representative Kings of each region; visiting families and elders in the EC, Lesotho, Swaziland and NW; and Renewal Programme Patron Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and Dr Mamphela Ramphele meeting with the representatives of the 1608 Trust and Bapo ba Mogale at the Royal Palace


PHASE 2: Healing Pitso I: Platform for creating common understanding

In the lead- up to the 10th Commemoration of the massacre, the first Marikana Renewal Programme Pitso was held in Rustenburg on 30-31 May 2022.  With a focus on overcoming the legacy of pain and unaddressed trauma, Healing Pitso I brought forward the importance of honouring the lives of the fallen by engaging their families to help co-create a path toward memorialisation.


Aside the experience of being treated disrespectfully during the Farlam Commission proceedings,  being given false hope and subsequently rejection of it’s findings,  in the years that followed, organisations and media entities took advantage of the families’ quest for answers and justice. Some institutions, in rallying support for compensation created unintentional divisions between the ‘10’ who had lost their lives in the days prior, and the ‘34’ who died during the massacre.

Overcoming factors that strained their ability to stand as one in the face of unaddressed concerns, was an important step.  The extensive trust-building engagements leading to this point signalled a general readiness for the next step in the healing journey. It was time to leverage the Letsema Process more broadly among impacted stakeholders and to seize the opportunity to convene a series of dialogues (Pitso/Imbizo’s) to facilitate an ‘open court’ process. Our 18 months of stakeholder engagement, informed by honouring and visiting the families in the comfort of their own homes, was slowly culminating in one key goal: the Healing-themed dialogue that would bring families together under one roof for the first time.  


Sibanye-Stillwater and other interested parties (including representatives from the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI(, Centre for the study of Violence and Reconciliation  (CSVR), and Government Information Communications System (GCIS) joined  94 family members of the deceased at the dialogue. Future Pitso’s II and II aim to focus on Socio-Economic Development and Land Management.

Key Outcomes


1, A key intent of engaging with willing  family members was to prepare each individually for a platform where they could speak for themselves. This meant  ensuring they were emotionally, mentally and spiritually ready for the conversations to create a common understanding around their role in Renewal. Outcomes of Healing-themed Pitso I included request for focus on 6 themes arising from original core promises the families raised to Lonmin in the past:  Justice; Memorial; Livelihoods; Education; Health; and Housing.


2. Sibanye-Stillwater’s presentation of their proposed plans for memorialisation offered an understanding of the need for a Task Team to be elected and convened in close proximity,  to ensure representation in relation to these 6 key themes.. This formalised structure aims to support with the following:

  • Create opportunities to take ownership of their agency through constructive engagements around support on delivery of 6 promises.

  • Prepare for engaging with government and other NGOs in understanding priorities as identified in the 6 themes, providing a platform for empowerment on their journey toward healing.

  • Overcome communications challenges in healthy ways.

  • Establish their independence.


3. After this engagement, the families requested a Youth Pitso which was held at a camp in August 2022. The three-day event was attended by 69 members of the 1608 Trust who had lost a father/brother/uncle in the massacre. The dialogue aimed to build trust with the youth, manage expectations, and offer a platform to voice and manage concerns. Seven themes emerged from their discussion for action: Psychosocial Support; 1608 Trust Management Capacity Building; Broader Families’ Engagement; Justice; Rights to Privacy/Addressing Stigmatisation; Education; and Updating of the 2012 Trust Deed. As with their parents, the Youth elected a Task Team that meets fortnightly to address and manage concerns.

Next Phase: Local Social Compacting Pilot


The Honour and Engage journey walked with the families paved the way for preparing to move toward ‘Create’ phase engagements,  alongside stakeholders in the host community of Marikana. In 2023 ReimagineSA will convene Pitso II with a Socio-Economic focus. Building on the momentum of Pitso I, Pitso II aims to leverage Memorialisation as the Pilot Model for local social compacting as top of agenda. With learnings from  families of the fallen and the needs of the community at large.  


As with the Families Task Teams, the intent is for Pitso II to culminate in its own structure: a Renewal Advisory Committee (RAC) leveraging future Pitso’s as platforms for creating common understandings.  This Committee is currently being formalised through agreed Terms of Reference among the Bapo ba Mogale (NW Traditional Leadership), Madibeng and Rustenburg Municipalities, as well as Bojanala District leadership and Sibanye-Stillwater. Stakeholders engaging in Pitso II will be able to ‘walk together’ as a collective, to co-create Renewal through work-streams mirroring each Pitso theme. To connect the work-streams toward meaningful policy creation, the committee seeks to leverage and impact the National Development Plan’s 7 key priorities at District Development Model level.


Read more about our 2023 policy engagement strategy with academic partners the School of Public Administration at the University of Pretoria. 


(Traditional Customs)

Although a general cleansing ceremony was held after the massacre, the Honour phase identified those who wished to complete the rites of bringing home the spirits of their loved ones in line with Amasiko’esintu. Considering the burden of multi-generational trauma born by our national collective, we acknowledge the role healing can play in nurturing a sustainable future. This means being mindful that there is a timeline to healing.  These are important milestones to observe in the continuum of healing from them moment  the news is received. Each step needs to be considerately observed before proceeding to the next. 


“Ukukhulula amaqhosha - when done then you can move on.

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