JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Platinum producer Lonmin has introduced a community grievance mechanism called Buang Le Rona/Thetha Nathi, meaning ‘Talk to Us’.
The mechanism was started last year with a pilot project and Lonmin stakeholder engagement and regulatory affairs executive VP Thandeka Ncube on Wednesday expressed her excitement with the company launching a full-service grievance system.
The system is aimed at improving two-way communication between communities and Lonmin and resolving grievances within the greater Lonmin community.
Ncube explained that the system came about as a result of the introduction of an internal policy based on global best practice and international principles.
“We made it a point to ensure that grievances and conflicts are mediated in a transparent and fair manner and, most importantly, this system will be able to track the progress of a grievance until it is resolved by the responsible stakeholder, whether an internal Lonmin department or an external stakeholder,” she added.
To ensure maximum impact and awareness of the mechanism, Lonmin has invested in an awareness campaign to educate community members and employees on how they can access the system and submit a grievance.
The system also affords the community the opportunity to submit a grievance at face-to-face meetings with the Lonmin stakeholder team at their scheduled engagements, a hotline staffed by consultants who are conversant in IsiXhosa, Setswana and English, comments/suggestion boxes in the community and through letters that can be delivered by hand or emailed to the Lonmin community office.
Comment boxes will be emptied once a week and the comments will be loaded onto a grievance Isometrix system – an internal online system that will be used to track and monitor progress to resolve grievances received.
“The system is only as good as the people who use it, and we hope that through this mechanism, Lonmin will be able to resolve issues speedily,” concluded Ncube.