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Wits to call landmark after mining firm, College students demand it moderately be named after Marikana

About 50 individuals picketed on the Wits College AMIC deck on Thursday in opposition to the establishment’s choice to rename the deck to the “Wits Sibanye-Stillwater Infinity Bridge”. The deck is well-known because it bridges over the M1 freeway in Johannesburg, to attach the East and West campuses. It was inbuilt 1989 and named after the then-funder Anglo American Industrial Corporation.

‘Marikana Memorial Bridge’

The group as an alternative need the deck named the “Marikana Memorial Bridge” and for the R52-million sponsorship from the mining large to be redirected to widows and orphans, a lot of whom misplaced bread winners by the Marikana Bloodbath in 2012.

The picket was organised by the Socialist Youth Motion at Wits and supported by the Wits EFF Pupil Command, the South African Federation of Commerce Unions and a few employees members affiliated to the Nationwide Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

Wits signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sibanye-Stillwater in 2021. In response to an announcement launched by Sibanye-Stillwater in August final yr, the MOU was for “the sponsorship of roughly R52-million from Sibanye-Stillwater, to help and improve the College’s School of Engineering and the Constructed Surroundings over a ten-year interval and to refurbish the bridge”.

White crosses have been positioned on the Wits AMIC Deck in remembrance of the miners who died through the Marikana Bloodbath. Image – GroundUp.

However, college students affiliated to the Socialist Youth Motion have rejected the alliance between Wits and Sibanye-Stillwater. “We imagine this establishment should serve the pursuits of scholars, employees and communities of the College of the Witwatersrand,” stated Zaki Mamdoo from the Socialist Youth Motion.

Mamdoo stated that by signing the MOU, the college is aligning itself with an organization accountable for “exploitaton, the destruction of communities and the homicide of mine employees”.

Mamdoo stated their calls for embody that Wits finish its “amicable relationship with SIbanye-Stillwater and all mining capital”; decide to “pursuing radical local weather justice and decolonial agenda” by session with employees and college students; and for the College to refuse the R52-millon sponsorship and discover different funding.

The College’s Dean of Pupil Affairs, Jerome September, accepted the group’s memo and promised to reply inside two weeks as requested.

In a response to GroundUp, James Wellsted, govt vp of investor relations at Sibanye-Stillwater, stated, “We acquired Lonmin in June 2019, a few years after the Marikana tragedy. Since taking possession now we have applied numerous processes which can lead to constructive change for all stakeholders within the space.”

This text initially appeared on GroundUp and was republished with permission.
Learn the unique article here.

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