MINING sector stakeholders have amplified calls for the extractive industry to increase corporate responsibility programmes if meaningful development is to be realised in areas where mining operations take place
The script has been largely the same in most mining places where mining companies are accused of focusing on profiteering at the expense of community development, leaving local communities poor.
These were the sentiments of stakeholders, who attended the Alternative Manicaland Provincial Mining Indaba in Mutare this weekend.
“Most of the local communities are less developed hence we implore mining companies to contribute towards the development of communities they operate in. When the companies close they must cater for their employees so that they don’t become destitute. We want to make sure that communities benefit from local resources,” said ZIMCORD Senior Programmes Officer Eve Nyemba.
“There is a consensus that mining companies should remit enough taxes to the government so that the state can provide for the people. There is also a huge feeling that corporate social responsibility programmes should become part of the country’s laws.”
Government officials at the indaba also emphasised that mining companies should honour their development obligations. With the District Development Coordinator for Mutare Wilson Bore saying, “The civil society organisations and communities are making a passionate plea that mining activities should promote local development. Local communities should not bear the burden of land degradation and environmental pollution while no meaningful development is accounting for the minerals being extracted.”
There are a lot of expectations by local communities in mining areas that include infrastructure rehabilitation and development, support through empowerment programmes as well as employment for locals.
Manicaland province is endowed with minerals that include gold and diamonds, whose extraction is expected to contribute towards the realisation of a 12 billion US dollar mining sector by 2023.