Mining communities demand transparency
COMMUNITIES in mining areas have called for transparency in the use of funds remitted by the mining companies in their areas of operations.
Under the by-laws of rural district councils, big mining companies are mandated to give back a portion of their revenue to the communities for development purposes. The funds are used to build schools, clinics and repair existing infrastructure.
Speaking during the fifth edition of the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba held in Bulawayo last week Ms Siduduzile Masilela from Matabeleland South, said some rural district councils (RDCs) were not disclosing to communities the revenue they were receiving from mines.
“We want transparency in the use of revenue from mines hence the need for councils to disclose how much they are receiving,” said Ms Masilela.
Another participant, Mr Christopher Maphosa from Zvishavane bemoaned environmental degradation in the mining town.
“Zvishavane has numerous open mine shafts left behind by miners and these have become dangerous to people as well as livestock.What is painful is that these mining companies that are damaging the environment are not employing locals,” he said.
Ms Gladys Mavusa from Chiadzwa diamond fields in Manicaland said their community was the worst affected by companies that do not give back to communities they operate in.
“We are not benefiting from the diamonds being mined in our area yet companies operating there are making millions of dollars from our natural resources,” she said.
The meeting was attended by more than 150 participants from the mining communities of Hwange, Gwanda, Chiadzwa and Zvishavane.
There were also delegates from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa and Zambia representing mining communities. — @BiancaMlilo