PROJECT: Social and Labour Plans and Mine-affected Communities (South Africa) – Centre For Applied Legal Studies

Dear All,
Please see below an exciting new project.

In brief: The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/clm/law/cals/11159/cals_home.html) is seeking 3 to 4 students to work on a project focusing on the use Social and Labour Plans in South Africa.

There is mounting evidence of a stark disjuncture between the lofty rhetoric in Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) and the lived reality of mine-affected communities who do not see the promised benefits of mining development. To put it bluntly SLPs do not appear to cater for actual community needs; this is a sentiment that is echoed by mining communities throughout South Africa. SLPs can be characterised as a regulatory system which seeks to achieve its aim of benefiting communities and workers through the partial transfer of developmental responsibilities from the state to mining companies.

The goal is to identify issues and themes associated with SLPs by examining the extent of the aforementioned disjuncture and investigate the causes of the failure to benefit communities through mining. We will additionally formulate a best practise SLP model and work with the role-players in the mining industry to attempt to correct the problems identified.

Students will assist in conducting literature review on SLPs. This will involve examining international literature and mining community development plans in order to identify theoretical tools to analyse SLPs, issues and trends in both a global and South African context. This exercise will culminate in a comparative analysis of different mechanisms for the beneficiation of mining communities and global best practice. Students could also expect a portion of field work involving interviews with identified communities, mine management, investors and government regulators.

Commitment: 50 – 60 hours in total per student, divided up according to the students’ schedules

Deadline: Literature review to be completed by December 2013

Specific requirements: No specific requirements, other than an ability to analyse legal and academic documents, and  draft high-quality documents.

The work in context: The aims of the overall project are to:

  • Attempt to formulate a well-defined strategy that addresses short and long term objectives and places emphasis on social impacts beyond financial inputs
  • Identify effective partnerships between the company, community, other producers, NGOs and Government
  • Recommend whether legislative reform is required
  • Make proposals for a new system or reforms to the present system to address the realities of mine-affected communities
  • Analyse the causes of these problems and their impacts in the mine affected communities
  • Provide the role players with recommendations on how to proceed with providing basic services for their labourers and their families going forward
  • Make proposals aimed at strengthening enforcement of SLPs so ensure accountability
  • Ensure that the issues underpinning Marikana are not abandoned and that the community’s plight is not forgotten.Please email us at soas@banyan-advocates.co.uk detailing your availability and interest in the project, with the name of the project in the subject line. Please also attach a CV.

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