Lubumbashi has been hosting since yesterday Wednesday, the 4th edition of the INDABA Mining Forum which brings together mining and civil society actors from the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe. At the heart of the debates, the management of mining royalties due to local communities. According to civil society, the management of these funds intended for societal development projects poses enormous problems.
with our correspondent in Lubumbashi,Denise maheho
Between July 2018 and December 2019, mining companies are believed to have paid Congolese communities almost $ 114 million. Funds intended for community projects such as access to water, electricity or construction of infrastructure.
However, for Jean-Pierre Muteba, a member of civil society, local authorities have allocated these funds to other uses. “We have seen jeeps, we have seen astronomical salaries for some of their advisors, they have created cabinets …”. And Jean-Pierre Muteba is upset: “(we get to know 🙂 I rehabilitated the city building of 500 millolliter! (but) with 500 million we can build eight schools with six classes! ”
For its part, the Catholic Church condemns impunity for the bad managers of these funds. “You know that impunity and lack of control are the evils that plague our society. Those who are called upon to administer these funds know that they will not be prosecuted, that they will not be punished, that they will not be controlled, easily divert the management of these resources, ”laments Father Claude Kalaba, the archbishop’s representative at this forum.
According to civil society, the governors of the provinces and the provincial mining divisions also demand a quota share of the mining toy due to communities, which accentuates the distribution of funds. The DRC’s Minister for Mines announces that a draft regulation regulating the use of these funds is being prepared.