Matobo Rural District Council has embarked on a process of compiling a database of mines in the District. The local authority is in the process of establishing sub-committees on natural resource governance at Ward level to assist in gathering information on the extractive activities happening in their localities.
MRDC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Elvis Sibanda said the database will necessitate the collection of revenue generated from mines through the Compliance Renewal Policy that was proposed by the Minister of Local government earlier this year.
“The database will help us improve on our revenue collection because, at some point, it will be difficult to renew mining licenses without a receipt from the local authority,” Sibanda said. “It will also help us, for the purposes of budgeting, to have realistic figures.”
MRDC has commended good attendance of miners in their last budget consultation meeting where issues of payment of royalties to the local authorities were discussed amongst other issues.
Sibanda said there has been a paradigm shift in following the announcement of the proposed policy by the Minister. He said some miners they didn’t have in their database are beginning to come forward to pay levies to the local authority.
The sub-committees will assist local leadership in the management of natural resources in their Wards. The committees will also monitor the illegal extraction of riversand and other resources in their wards.
Matobo RDC Natural Resources Officer Mr. Witness Tshuma explained that after the database has been finalized, the local authority together with the Environmental Management Agency would consolidate data and assess the environmental impact of the activities in each area.
Habakkuk Trust is currently advocating for a policy that will make land levy payment a prerequisite for the renewal of mining licenses. Districts with vast mineral depositories have often raised concerns over the lack of meaningful benefit from local resources while some have called for the decentralization of the Ministry of Mines office to enable ease of access to crucial information by the locals on the affairs of their mineral wealth.