JOHANNESBURG - The World Bank's Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) will investigate a complaint by women of Marikana, detailing Lonmin’s environmental impacts and failure to comply with its social and labour plans.
The Centre for Applied Legal Studies, a human rights-centred organisation based at the Wits School of Law, has welcomed the development.
BREAKING: World Bank's Compliance Advisor Ombudsman will investigate a complaint by women of Marikana detailing Lonmin’s environmental impacts & failure to comply with its social & labour plans. The IFC is being held to account for its investing practices by affected communities pic.twitter.com/WHyZgAa4vh— CALS (@CALS_ZA) December 7, 2017
Community members and the Sikhala Sonke ("We Cry Together") NGO lodged the complaint, assisted by the Wits School of Law.
In a statement, the CAO says: "The purpose of a CAO compliance appraisal is to ensure that compliance investigations are initiated only in relation to projects that raise substantial concerns.
"In this case the complainants provide personal accounts of the living conditions in the settlements near the mine. They provide accounts of pollution from the client’s facilities causing health problems in the local population. They also provide accounts from family members of Lonmin employees regarding the adverse impacts of poor housing conditions and lack of access to water and sanitation."
It goes on: "Considering the accounts of adverse impact provided by the complainants and the questions CAO has identified in relation to IFC’s review and supervision of related aspects of the project, CAO concludes that the criteria for investigation are met. Terms of Reference for the investigation will be prepared in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines."