Original Research

Assessing the potential impact of the Marikana incident on South African mining companies: An event method study

Nicholas Hill, Warren Maroun
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 18, No 4 | a1345 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v18i4.1345 | © 2015 Nicholas Hill, Warren Maroun | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 March 2015 | Published: 27 November 2015

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Nicholas Hill, University of the Witwatersrand
Warren Maroun, University of the Witwatersrand

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Abstract

This study examines the potential impact of industrial unrest and the outbreak of violence at Marikana on 16 August 2012 on the share prices of mining companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) using an event methodology. Contrary to expectations, the Marikana incident does not appear to have had a widespread and prolonged effect on the South African mining sector. This may be the result of the strike action already having been discounted into the price of mining shares, implying that the market was only reacting to the unusually violent (but short-lived) protest. Alternately, the results could be indicative of investor confidence in the corporate social responsibility initiatives of the South African mining industry as a whole. This paper is the first to examine the potential impact of the Marikana incident on the share prices of mining companies listed on the JSE. It should be of interest to both academics and practitioners wanting to understand how share prices react to exogenous events. It is also relevant for corporate-governance researchers concerned with the relevance of social and governance practices in a South African setting. This research is faced with the limitations associated with most statistical research: that causality cannot be ascribed to tested relationships. Notwithstanding these limitations, it is argued that these findings are important, given the significant coverage of the Marikana incident and the ongoing debate on the need for corporate social responsibility.


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