By JACKSON MAPAPAYI
Government should repeal the Mines and Minerals Act, a consortium of civil society organisations in North-Western Province has advised.
Consortium chairperson Oliver Chilefu said this is because the Act has outlived its usefulness.
Mr Chilefu said in its current form, the Act does not empower the host communities.
“As CSOs, this time around, we would want to see a difference in terms of community beneficiation but over time we have seen that large mines in the province are opened but when it comes to community benefiting, it is almost at zero,” said Mr Chilefu.
He said the CSOs want to see a revision to the laws by incorporating hosting communities.
He said despite the province hosting three big mines remitting huge taxes to government, there is little development linked to improvement in peoples’ livelihoods.
“There is no link and it is almost like every time they open up a mine, it brings more problems than solutions,” he said.
He has also urged communities hosting mines to start forming companies and cooperatives for them to get business from the mining operations in their areas to maximise benefits.
“Communities should have companies that should have direct shares or they should be contractors that should be given bigger contracts and use it to get anything they want,” Mr Chilevu said.