State Governance, Participation and Mining Development

Despite the advent of democracy witnessing government making considerable progress in developing the legal frameworks to manage mining development and include citizens in decision-making processes, this has largely been unsuccessful. Although it is known that the post-apartheid state may be ineffective in holding mining companies accountable for social and environmental abuse and engaging citizens in decision-making processes, it is unclear what may hamper effective governance and participation by the state. Since the popular tourist destination of Dullstroom, Mpumalanga has become under threat from an increasing number of mining applications for coal (and to a much more limited extent – diamonds), this paper presents viewpoints from key stakeholders to examine the effectiveness of the state to govern mining development and applications, including how the state (and industry) engages in participation with civil society surrounding mining development. Most participation literature has dealt with improving participatory processes rather than exploring the challenges towards successful participation. Investigations reveal a number of complex factors influencing governance and participation such as lack of government human resources, the ruling party promoting mining for social and economic upliftment, collusion between government and industry, and the Department of Mineral Resources domination of decision-making to promote mining limiting co-operative governance

  • Leonard, L. (2016) Governance, participation and mining development, Politikon, DOI: 10.1080/02589346.2016.1245526
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