Sustainable mining communities post mine closure: Critical reflection on roles and responsibilities of stakeholders towards local economic development in the City of Matlosana

Van Heerden, Jacobus Johannes (2016-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: The South African gold mining industry is in decline, with available ore bodies mostly depleted. With ever increasing costs and a depressed gold price, most mines are struggling to remain viable, with many having reached their peak and downscaling or preparing for closure. The consequences of mine closures on host communities, where mining is the main economic driver, are often devastating and traumatic. This study explores the role that mining companies and other role-players should play in the development of local economies in order to reduce the negative social impacts of future closures. Local economic development (LED) is often seen as the solution and assumes local and other actors will collaborate in crafting a future for the region or place. The City of Matlosana (Klerksdorp Gold Fields) is used as a case study. Various perspectives, including legal, economic, political, environmental, and social perspectives on the challenges the city face were obtained through the use of multiple methods, including surveys, interviews and observations, as well as content analysis of documents, meeting notes and feedback. Using the constant comparative method to analyse the data obtained, themes such as a lack in trust, poor communication and collaboration, poor institutional capacity, political interference and a lack in integrated planning emerged. The study shows that what presently is being done, will not be enough to make a meaningful impact on the economy post mine-closure. Five themes emerged illustrating the current status. Legislation such as the Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Act is vague, causing different interpretations by different agents. Secondly the Department of Mineral Resources is not capacitated to discharge its legal responsibilities. Thirdly the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan is poorly constructed with limited participation from key stakeholders and provides no guidance. Fourthly the political and technical leadership and skills to secure a future beyond mining in local government and private business is lacking. Lastly the city’s infrastructure is old and will hamper the prospects of future development. In this broken environment the response from mining has been varied. In the absence of a regional closure plan, each mine contributes as it sees fit and the contribution thereof will probably not contribute to secure a life post mining. The study makes recommendations about improving the legislative framework and planning arrangements, and hopes to contribute to the knowledge base for all local actors to learn from.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse goudmyn-industrie nader sy eindjare met beskikbare ertsliggame byna uitgeput. Met stygende kostes en ’n lae goudprys vind meeste myne dit moeilik om lewensvatbaar te bly. Die meeste myne het reeds hul piek bereik en skaal nou produksie af, of maak gereed om te sluit. Die gevolge van mynsluitings in gasheer gemeenskappe, waar mynbou die hoof dryfveer van die ekonomie is, is dikwels verwoestend en traumaties. Hierdie studie ondersoek die rol wat mynmaatskappye en ander plaaslike rolspelers behoort te speel in die ontwikkeling van die plaaslike ekonomie ten einde die negatiewe sosiale impak van verdere mynsluitings te versag. Plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkeling berus in wese op die beginsel dat plaaslike en ander rolspelers sal saamwerk en sodoende ‘n toekoms vir die streek of plek sal bewerkstellig. Matlosana Stad (Klerksdorp Goudvelde) word as ’n gevallestudie gebruik. ‘n Veelvoud van perspektiewe insluitend wetgewend, ekonomies, polities, die omgewing en sosiale perspektiewe op die uitdagings wat die stad in die gesig staar, is bekom deur gebruik te maak van verskeie metodes, insluitend opnames, onderhoude en waarnemings, asook inhoudsanalise van dokumente, vergaderings-notas en terugvoering. Die konstante vergelykende metode is gebruik om die versamelde data te ontleed. Verskeie sleutel temas soos ‘n gebrek aan vertroue, swak kommunikasie en samewerking, gebrekkige institusionele kapasiteit, politieke inmenging en ‘n gebrek aan geïntegreerde beplanning het na vore gekom. Die studie bevind dat dit wat tans gedoen word, nie genoegsaam is om ’n betekenisse impak op die ekonomie na mynbou te bewerkstellig nie. Vyf temas het na vore gekom wat die status illustreer. Die Wet op die Ontwikkeling van Minerale en Petroleum Hulpbronne is vaag en lei tot verskillende interpretasies deur verskillende rolspelers. Tweedens beskik die Departement van Minerale Hulpbronne nie oor die kapasiteit om sy regspligte na te kom nie. Derdens is die geïntegreerde ontwikkelingsplan swak saamgestel met beperkte deelname van sleutel belangegroepe, en verskaf dit geen leiding nie. Vierdens is daar ’n gebrek aan politieke en tegniese leierskap en vaardighede om ’n volhoubare toekoms na mynbou te verseker by beide die plaaslike regering en die plaaslike sakewêreld. Laastens is die stad se infrastruktuur oud en sal dit verdere ontwikkeling strem. In hierdie gebroke omgewing is die respons van mynbou uiteenlopend. By gebrek aan ’n mynbou-sluitingsplan vir die streek, handel elke myn na goeddunke en die impak daarvan sal heel moontlik nie ’n bydrae lewer om die bestaan na mynbou te verseker nie. Die studie beveel aan dat die regsraamwerk en beplanningsmaatreëls verbeter word, en hoop om ’n bydrae te maak tot die kennisbasis vir plaaslike rolspelers om van te leer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98748
This item appears in the following collections: