Calls for mining legal framework overhaul

An economist from PR Executive Consulting, Sennye Obuseng, says it is time for Botswana to review the legislation and policy framework for mining.

Obuseng was speaking at the just ended Third Alternative Mining Forum held in Gaborone last week. He said the rationale for the review was to assist in identifying and characterising the legal status of the extract sector in Botswana with emphasis on needs, gaps and discrepancies and shortfalls of the legal and policy framework. He said the reforms would help regulate, control and be robust enough to hold investors accountable to domestic law as well as the generally agreed international mining practices.

“Mining regulation in Botswana falls short of key international standards and Botswana is not signatory to the EITI. It has no transparency in mining because communities do not have access to vital information. Still, mining regulation in Botswana does not adequately address several critical challenges like external costs that are borne disproportionately by mining communities, illegal sand mining, reclamation and equitable benefit sharing,” Obuseng said.

Furthermore, Obuseng said stakeholder involvement in mining is crucial as it exercises competent mediation of competing interests, based on generally accepted principles and values.

“Mining companies, governments, labour, mining communities and posterity are key to the success and sustainability of the mine and resources shared with the communities. Social and economic justice requires fair benefit sharing and fair compensation for each one of the stakeholders,” Obuseng said.

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