Editorial note

Dear subscribers to the newsletter,

when is the use of superlatives appropriate?

On Sunday, May, 23, South African President publicly announced that the lockdown will be loosened and measures go from level 4 to level 3. The last two months of „world´s strictest lockdown” gave South Africa, the country with the largest inequality of the income distribution, a really hard time. A good week before the end of lockdown level 4 SANDF (South African National Defense Force) has published a set of guidelines where it lodged that soldiers are not allowed to simply shoot people.

In the last two months eleven people have lost their lives through Corona-protection by police and also soldiers.

As relieving as the news of an eased lockdown and the possibility for people to move more freely are, many are worried about what this will mean for the development of Covid-19 infections in the country. It is anticipated that many workers, i.e. miners will start internally migrating again despite insufficient measures by their employers to protect workers and communities from the spread of the disease.

We have again tried to assemble an overview and would like to share some thoughts on mining affected communities, social justice and perspectives of international solidarity. Bishop Johannes Seoka is contributing a text about Government Failure to Deliver Services to the Poor, Maren Grimm about the Permanent Crisis Function of informal settlements in mining areas. Boniface Mabanza is looking at Corona as a Chance for New Ways and Simone Knapp gives an insight into current debates on “Basic Income and Social Security”

For the next edition, which we want to publish a day in advance of the virtual AGM of BASF (the world´s largest buyer of Platinum from South Africa and the world´s largest chemical enterprise) on June 18, we will have a critical focus on experiences with shareholder activism and business dialogues. It will be the 6th time to attend their meeting with a (virtual) delegation from South Africa and we will share with you why we are doing this in a webinar.

One last sentence, this time with comparative: “Actually throwing stones in as many different ways as possible is a lot more effective than partnering out with them (the companies).” (Yet unpublished quote by a fellow researcher)

Yes, but …

Wishing you all the very best!

Maren Grimm
for the campaign Plough Back The Fruits