So. Africa: Social & Labour Plans system needs "a radical overhaul" to accord workers in mining companies and host communities a central role, says report

Author: Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Univ. of the Witwatersrand (South Africa, Published on: 7 May 2017

[Original publication date: March 2017]

This is the second in a three-part series of research and reports on [Social & Labour Plans] SLP. The first component of this research critically examined the regulatory framework for SLPs…There was therefore a need for empirical studies to establish how SLPs are actually being implemented by mining companies and government. This report captures these empirical audits. Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) conducted field research in several communities each falling within the class of beneficiaries for a particular SLP...The fact that much of the content of SLPs is not prescribed by legislation has led to mining companies having large swathes of discretion regarding how SLPs are designed, what they contain and how they are implemented. This has led to an absence of community participation in the development of SLPs...In summary, we conclude that the amendments required to accord workers and communities a central role would entail, at the very least, a radical overhaul of the system...

[The first part of this research series is here]

Recoommendations:

1. Align MPRDA [mining law] to principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent...

2. Require Negotiated SLPs... MPRDA and regulations should be amended to require that they are the product of an agreement between communities, workers and mining companies...

3. Government facilitated rights training and capacitation for mine-affected communities...

4. Establish mechanism enabling mine-affected communities to access...development, environmental and other specialists...

5. Specify requirements for consultation throughout SLP life cycle...

6. Legislative framework of SLPs should address gender inequality...

7. Measures to disseminate SLPs must be put in place...

9. Establish independent grievance mechanism for mine-affected communities...

13. Greater regulation on securing the SLP financial provision...[to] ensure that SLP expenditure is not reduced when companies’ turnover is less than projected...

14. Clear compliance criteria based on impact...

15. Provide for sufficient financial penalties for SLP non-compliance

Download the full document here

Related companies: Anglo American Anglo Platinum (part of Anglo American) Impala Platinum Lonmin