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, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 845-851, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/852_78
Communities in southern Africa are often poor, under-educated, disempowered, and in need of employment.
They lack experience with large development projects and the knowledge of potential impacts and benefits.
They have high, often unrealistic, expectations, and inadequate awareness of their own rights or the capacity
to exercise these rights. These factors combine to make engagement with communities at the commencement
of mining projects critical.
Public engagement is the cornerstone of social impacts assessments. Such assessments are themselves key to
environmental impact assessments (EIAs) in southern African settings. Good engagement with communities
is also necessary to ensure that expectations are managed. This engagement must include awareness raising
and information dissemination to the community. This limits the potential for external exploitation of the
community, and enhances the potential for community buy-in into the project. It will also establish the nature
of the partnership between the community and the mine if the project proceeds. The sooner such engagement
commences, the greater the chances for community participation in key decisions around the project. This is
essentially a way of managing sustainability risks and facilitating avoidance of costly legacies on closure.
The human resources function, for example, is an area where many of the early benefits and negative social
impacts can be managed. Managing this requires high levels of buy-in and understanding of social issues by
the project proponents. This paper illustrates some of the opportunities that may present themselves during
the EIA process for avoiding the creation of legacies.
Cooke, J. and Limpitlaw, D. (2003) Post-Mining Site Regeneration: Review of Good Practice in Southern Africa, a
report commissioned by the Eden Project and English Nature in support of the Post Mining Alliance at the Eden
Project, Cornwall, 37 p., plus appendices.
De la Vergne, J. (2003) The Hard Rock Miner’s Handbook, 3rd Edition, McIntosh Engineering, Ontario, Canada, 330 p.
Limpitlaw, D., Aken, M., Lodewijks, H. and Viljoen, J. (2005) Post-mining rehabilitation, land-use and pollution at
collieries in South Africa, Presented at the Colloquium: Sustainable Development in the Life of Coal Mining,
South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Boksburg, 13 July, 10 p.
Turgis (2008) Report of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: Trekkopje Uranium Project, Erongo Region,
Namibia, Final Draft, Turgis Consultants, Johannesburg, 462 p., plus appendices.
Wikipedia (2008) Communal Wildlife Conservancies in Namibia. Accessed July 2008.