About the campaign
Plough back the fruits is aware of the broader context it is acting in. The initiators of the campaign regard themselves as a research hub and part of a network of progressive forces in Europe and South Africa. The European initiators of the campaign form a network of German, Swiss and Austrian NGOs and activists, some of them involved in the struggle against the Apartheid regime in South Africa. In 2014/2015 the European participants started to join forces with partners in South Africa. Since then the campaign has been collaborating with the families of victims of the Marikana massacre, supporters and NGOs and strives to strengthen alliances with worker’s communities in Marikana, activists, researchers, NGOs and progressive unions in South Africa as well as in Europe.
The mining sector in South Africa is characterized by historically persistent structures, such as “cheap black labour” consisting of migrant workers from former homelands (“labour sending areas”), racism, classism, sexism and not least neoliberal and neo-colonial ways of legitimized exploitation. Lonmin, the South African Police Services and the South African government were directly involved in the Marikana massacre and must be held responsible. But without addressing and challenging the political and economic context, there can be no complete picture of the circumstances that led to the Marikana massacre and hence no “Justice for Marikana”. Aware of this, Plough back the fruits understands itself as a contribution within a broader struggle.
The business relation between BASF and Lonmin (now Sibanye-Stillwater) has existed for more than 30 years. BASF is the main customer of Sibanye’s platinum. It is a world-leading chemical enterprise and manufacturer of catalysts based in Germany. BASF itself describes its business as a combination of “economical success and social responsibility” and claims to adhere to an ethical code of conduct along the whole supply chain.
Nevertheless, BASF kept silence about Marikana until the massacre was for the first time addressed by Bishop Jo Seoka at the company’s annual general meeting of 2015 in Mannheim/Germany.
Supporting organisations in South Africa
- Bench Marks Foundation
- Marikana Support Group
- Widows of Marikana
Supporting organisations in Europe