The impact of mineral extraction on local economic development of mining towns
A Marikana perspective
The research examines the relationship between mineral extraction and sustainable economic development of local mining communities, specifically in Marikana within the Rustenburg Local Municipality. The study investigates the efficacy and implementation of the regulation and legislative framework relevant for the transformation of the mining industry as well as the sustainability of the local economic development.
An interpretative social science approach was adaopted and the research design used a qualitative approach. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with eight interviewees. Participants consisted of two companies, four policy experts from local and national government, two community representatives from the ward committee and the business forum. Secondary data is from the journals, academic writings, Social and Labour Plans (SLP) and the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of the municipality. The results show there are challenges with compliance with SLP and the Charter prescripts from the mining houses, also there is a debate about mining houses commitment in implementing sustainable local economic development (LED).
The issue of lack of capacity of the regulator to monitor local projects was highlighted as a contributor to mining houses 'noncompliance'. Inadequate stakeholder engagement, lack of alignment of the SLP, IDP and the priorities of the community creates a challenge due to lack of buy in and ownership of LED projects implemented. The research found that there is a need to improve alignment of the IDP, SLP and the community's priorities, improve stakeholder engagement process and also to enforce the prescripts of the Act where there is lack of adherence.