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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Clergy appeal to mining companies for benefits in mining areas

Economy Clergy appeal to mining companies for benefits in mining areas

Caritas Director in the Catholic diocese of Solwezi in North Western province, Noel Haaninga has called on government to ensure that local communities in Kasenseli gold mine in Mwinilunga district yield benefit of mineral extraction in the area.

Speaking when he made a presentation in Solwezi district yesterday at a provincial mining indaba which was also attended by 11 traditional leaders chiefs, Father Haaninga said the local communities should have special place on the table in the whole discussion of mining.

Fr. Haaninga said concerns about the future of the community and their children should be prioritised but expressed sadness that such has been neglected.

“It is essential to show special care for the communities and their cultural traditions, example of Mwinilunga comes to my mind where gold in Kasenseli has been discovered but communities have been left in the cold, no benefit accruing to the community”, he said.

Fr. Haaninga said mere corporate social responsibility is not enough and called for the need to ensure that mining activities lead to integral human development of each and every person and for the entire community.

“Show us your budgets of corporate social responsibility CSR and we will tell you our priorities”, he said.

The clergyman advised the mining companies to respect human rights and involve local communities in identifying projects and actions fit for communities.

Meanwhile Fr. Haaninga has called upon the local authorities to account for the money they are collecting from the mines.

In responding to issues raised by the clergyman, North-Western Provincial Minister, Robert Lihefu said the new dawn government is committed to ensuring that things are brought to normal in the mines.

Mr Lihefu made a passionate appeal to the mine companies to involve the locals in order to avoid problems being experienced in other areas.

“Please investors involve the communities,” he appealed.

Mr Lihefu said government is aware that mining if not well managed has its negative effects on the environment.

He encouraged indaba participants to ensure that the challenges in the mining sector are adequately exploded and develop a progressive and innovative ways to address them.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ah, another clergyman that was overlooked when “empowerment” was dished out. I’m very happy with clergymen but they should stick to their trade. You wouldn’t be happy with a miner leading your church service, would you Father? So now it’s time to remain silent while grown-ups talk about earning money.

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  2. CSR must be in a form that lasts even after the mine is exhausted. One way of benefitting the locals is employment but I am afraid to say that most local people don’t want work that make them wait for a month to get their pay. I speak from experience… most of them will work for one month get paid buy a bicycle and desert. The emerald mines in lufwanyama and gemstones in Eastern Province are some of the examples.

  3. Corporate Social Responsibility can’t be relied upon to drive the wheels of development. The Traditional Leaders in the area must be advised to form a company by guarantee or a cooperative to begin to exploit those resources by themselves. Councils must also plough back whatever they collect in rates and levies. To wait for investors to develop their area is as good as saying “eat the cream and leave us the crumbs”! You can’t expect somebody to invest in a business and share their profits with you. There’s no such a thing. So be proactive. No one will stop you from mining that gold. Form a Company and let every Luvale, Lunda, Kaonde or Chokwe be a shareholder.

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