The tragedies surrounding Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) are heart-breaking. Two key employees of the Rio Tinto company have been shot dead and equipment burnt, causing losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.
While police are still trying to get to the bottom of the two murders, the leadership at RBM, working closely with the national and provincial governments as well as tribal leaders and community structures have shown huge commitment to return stability to the business. One senses that it will be sustainable this time round. Ahead of the culmination of the police investigation, RBM has taken strong steps to ensure that the money going to host communities reaches the people of those communities meaningfully.
This time round, independent auditing will be enforced with full transparency to ensure proper governance. Financial statements on funds going into communities were not going out on a regular basis and when they did finally come out, most of them were qualified. A firm stop is being put to that.