The Lesotho government is reviewing its 1961 Mining and Minerals Policy (MMP). The review presents a unique opportunity for Lesotho to improve mineral resource management, maximize revenue collection and utilization, and increase the impact of mineral extraction on the Basotho nation in general and on mining communities in particular. The Lesotho government has solicited support from the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help with the drafting of the Policy.
- Africa continue to bleed billions in mining tax revenue- by Boitshepo Majube
- The participants were given the floor to contribute to the discussion. A Media person from Botswana said in his view, the vision has been a document for officials only. It has not been fully made available to the media for action. He also noted that the media involvement in the process of licensing, signing of contracts and others related to mining is limited. To foster collaboration with all stakeholders, there is the need to create a platform like a face book page where stakeholders can exchange information on the popularisation of the AMV.
The discussions in this session had opening remarks from Fabian Nkomo(trade unionist), Mantoe Phakanti (journalist) and Mutuso Dhliwayo (CSO activist) with Yao Graham moderating
Glen Mpufane opened his presentation with information about his global union, INDUSTRIALL, showing how its 50 million members in 140 countries are spread across the mineral value chain – from extraction, manufacturing to support services. He then posed two questions - do labour issues find articulation in the AMV, and what are the issues /constraints/challenges/ for advocacy in Africa’s Mining Labour regime?
Oliver Maponga was the resource person for this session. His presentation covered the benefits and prospects of mineral beneficiation in Africa; the instruments for promoting linkages and an exploration of the challenges; and concluded with a discussion on industrialisation and beneficiation.
Oliver Maponga: In reference to Samantha’s presentation, Oliver wanted to clarify about the elements that Samantha indicated that they were missing in the AMV, among them gender issues and climate change. He said the Action Plan of the AMV emphasized what was supposed to be done at national and community level. Oliver said the vision was developed and the Action Plan took the vision at heart to develop specific activities. He said in the Africa Mining Vision, a lot of issues that Samantha raised against it were adequately covered.
The presentations were on Community Concerns and the AMV by Claude Kabemba of Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) and Samantha Hargreaves of Women in Mining (WOMIN).
- One participant agreed that indeed issues of taxation in the mining sector are complicated and one needs proper understanding to effectively deal with the issues. He noted that if all issues written in the AMV are adhered to, the problems of financial mismanagement in the sector would have been solved.He also called for a collective responsibility in dealing with such challenges. He said there has to be institutional arrangements in place to follow up on such issues.
- His presentation noted that the major problem in the Sub-Saharan Africa is how to mobilise domestic revenue and overdependence on donors.
- He added that the tax base tends to get eroded due to lack of effective ring fencing, linear capital depreciation and control of production, exports and by products.
- He also noted that the poor Sub Saharan region needs transparency and accountability at all levels if the region is to meaningfully benefit from mining activities.
- He also highlighted urgent renegotiation of mining contracts when they are unfavourable.