The article examines strategies of harnessing mineral resources for community empowerment, poverty reduction and infrastructure development in mining areas of Zimbabwe. Despite abundant mineral resources, the majority of Zimbabwean indigenous communities living close to the mines have limited access to directly or indirectly benefit from the mineral resources. Using a descriptive survey to collect data, this research article gives a strong proposition on how the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act can be used as a vehicle of harnessing mineral resources. The article argues that pro poor mining policies that ensure the harnessing of mineral resources for community empowerment, poverty reduction and infrastructure development are paramount. The article further argues that the Indigenous and Economic Empowerment Act needs to be harmonised with other sector legislation in the country. The article concludes that the development of infrastructure and provision of public utilities such as electricity, water, establishing micro-credit to small and medium enterprises and implementing broad-based indigenisation policies are some of the strategies of improving rural livelihoods. Similarly direct and indirect linkages between the mining sector and local economy could be enhanced through the provision of food supply to the mine, manufacture of mining inputs, provision of security services and supply of labour by the local community. The article recommends that the harmonisation of legislation that has an effect on harnessing of mineral resources by local communities will ensure community empowerment, poverty reduction and infrastructure development.
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 38)
F. Moyo and C. Mabhena, "Harnessing Mineral Resources in Gwanda District of Zimbabwe: A Myth or a Reality?", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 38, pp. 1-21, 2014