$750m for min­ing dis­ap­pears from DRC state cof­fers

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

MORE than 20% of the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) min­ing rev­enue is be­ing lost due to cor­rup­tion and mis­man­age­ment, ac­cord­ing to the in­ter­na­tional NGO Global Wit­ness.

The group says the money is be­ing dis­trib­uted through cor­rupt net­works linked to em­bat­tled Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila.

Data from the Ex­trac­tive In­dus­tries Trans­parency Ini­tia­tive re­veals that be­tween 2013 and 2015 over $750 mil­lion (R9.73 bil­lion) paid by min­ing com­pa­nies to Congo’s tax agen­cies and state min­ing com­pa­nies never reached the na­tional trea­sury.

The DRC’s min­ing rev­enue is re­port­edly paid to the state-owned min­ing com­pany, Ge­camines, the head of which is a close ally of Ka­bila – who has de­nied al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion and in­sisted the com­pany is trans­par­ent.

The DRC is Africa’s big­gest pro­ducer of cop­per, the world’s largest sup­plier of cobalt and is also rich in gold, di­a­monds and coltan, used in cell­phones. But, it re­mains one of the poor­est coun­tries in the world.

The govern­ment has pre­vi­ously de­nied al­le­ga­tions of graft in its min­ing sec­tor. Congo’s tax agen­cies are al­lowed, by law, to re­tain a per­cent­age of the fines they levy, which has led to fab­ri­cated fines as they seek to in­flate how much they can keep as their own funds.

The NGO says that from 2013 to 2015 the money not reach­ing the state cof­fers due to graft, mis­man­age­ment and in­ef­fec­tive tax­a­tion amounted to $1.3 bil­lion.

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