Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) includes 20 to 30 million people worldwide, with three to five times that number indirectly supported through their activities. The aartisanal small-scale mining sector has emerged as a sector that is a net contributor to sustainable development and is a poverty alleviation intervention. ASM provides numerous opportunities for women though the extent varies from country to country. While this sector contributes to poverty alleviation, it is by no means associated with socio-economic misgivings.
Governments, industry players and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have neglected this fast-growing sector, focusing on the negative impacts of ASM rather than on addressing its structural challenges to improve the sector’s opportunities for sustainable development. This has been the case because ASM is very often associated with challenges, including a poor environment; health and safety practices; the spread of communicable diseases; heightened security risks to neighbouring communities and operations; forced child labour; inequitable distribution of benefits in communities; and illegal trade. South Africa is no exception with a recorded rise in ASMs, referred to as zama-zamas, an operation characterised by non-citizens, a situation that ushered in a security risk.
Artisanal small-scale mining as a fast-growing sector demanding recognition and profiling of the sector with its requisite enablers within legislation. The question the dissertation addresses is whether the social contract provided for in the Policy on Mineral Resources and codified through legislation has created a mining sector that contributes to the poverty alleviation agenda of South Africa. The dissertation aims to assess the extent to which South Africa‘s legislative framework provides for the development and incorporation of ASM as a fast-growing sector that requires support, regulation, monitoring and evaluation.
The approach adopted entails the contextualisation of ASM as well as a dissection of its attributes, and an analysis of South African policies and legislation. Further, Ghana and Tanzania are utilised as test cases to provide some evidence of the recognition of the ASM sector and improvements to legislation to promote local content. The two test cases are utilised to propose areas that require consideration in the South African legislation to enable the ASM sector to receive the support to ensure compliance. South Africa has commenced with initiatives to recognise the existence of ASM by issuing licences and promoting cooperatve arrangements within mining.The attribution of ASM as lillegal mining and a security risk for South Africa is unfortunate. South Africa must embrace practices that prevail in the Communities of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (CASM) Charter, the Yaoundé Vision and the Africa Mining Vision, where the practice of informal artisanal mining (IAM) is not criminalised but is encouraged as a niche source for sustainable livelihoods.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2019.