Min­ing com­mu­ni­ties de­mand trans­parency

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

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

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